United States/Mexico Border
US/Mexico Border, 1989
For those who are crossing, an arrest is a stopping. Paths are temporarily reversed and people are often sent back to the countries and conditions they fled. The migrants say that when rich Americans want gardeners and maids, they allow the 'undocumented workers' to proceed. When they have enough, the rest are scooped up like garbage and disposed of.
For those who remain, we Americans rarely ask who they are or why this is the choice they have made. So we pass the silent faces on the street, in the stores, even in our own homes. We see their eyes, but we don't know what their eyes have seen or what they see in us.
-Introduction for exhibition of "Crossings" at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1990
"The American public has no idea, nor do they want to know what the border patrol does because none of these illegal aliens are affecting their jobs yet. They work menial jobs: manual labor, gardening, landscaping, construction, dirty work. What other Americans don't want to do. As soon as we start getting illegal entrants who are qualified...doctors, accountants, lawyers, Indian chiefs...then they're gonna say, 'Hey wait a minute, who's protecting our borders?' " -Anonymous, U.S. Border Patrol, 1989