Browse Primary Sources
"In September, in one of these trucks, I sat across from a recently married couple in their 20s, from Tehran. The wife, who was seven months pregnant, wore a red blouse stretched over her stomach; the husband a tank top, thick-rimmed glasses and a faux hawk that revealed a jagged scar (courtesy, he said, of the Iranian police.) Two months had passed since they flew to Jakarta; this was their fourth attempt to leave. Twice, en route to the boat that would bring them to Australia, they were intercepted, detained and paid bribes for their release. Another time, the boat foundered shortly after starting out. All the same, they were confident this trip would be different. Like everyone else's in the truck, theirs was a desperate kind of faith. "Tonight wwe will succeed," the husband assured me. They were determined that their child be born 'there.'"
New York Times Magazine 2013-11-17
"When I asked Javier what it was like to be a wetback, he smiled at the implausibility of summing up five years of experience, and then he looked thoughtfully at his hands. We had just met and were sitting on a shady curb next to a hamburger stand in West San Antonio; it was one of those first hot weeks toward the end of May when you know it won't be cool again till fall. Javier's hands, I noticed, looked too old for his 24 years. The fingers were squeezed out of shape from heavy labor and the skin so thick it was like permanent work gloves. He absently rubbed a scar on the back of his his left hand as if it might come off and said . . ."
Texas Monthly 1977-10-01
"The Crossing: A special report: A Perilous 4,000-Mile Passage to Work" - Charlie LeDuff - New York Times
"So they crawled under a cattle fence, crossed over the highway and under another fence. There, waiting, stood two Mexicans with pistols in their waistbands. They were not frightening to Edouardo Cervantes, who at 19, had been through the drill before. Bandits who prey along the illegal immigrant trail are part of Mexican life, like the police there who hold out their palm if you want to park near your church."
The New York Times 2001-05-20