Terrible things happen when migrants try to make it to the U.S. It’s bad enough trying to cross from northern Mexico into the Sonoran Desert, but many who travel from Central and South America face much more than brutal sunlight.
Researching it is hard. Speaking with people who have experienced it is hard. Seeing the pain in someone’s eyes is hard. Knowing that there are people going through it right this second -and that I’m not there with them- is hard. I’m kept awake at night thinking of all of the wonderful people I’ve met along my journey but also worried because I don’t know what happened to them.
My work covers not only the stories of migrants and the desert, and not only human rights abuses perpetrated by the U.S. Border Patrol (and other branches of law enforcement) and the Mexican police. It also covers the struggles of migrants who make their journey through the length of Mexico, from Chiapas all the way to Sonora, riding the Beast and praying that they don’t fall asleep.
Regardless of how difficult it is to report on all of it, to make some sort of order out of the largest project I’ve ever undertaken, I look at images like these and I remember that under no circumstances will I stop writing until these abuses end.