‘Jose on a Country of Immigrants’ by Danny Harris

Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer, DJ, and collector of stories. He launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. You can follow People’s District on Twitter @PeoplesDistrict, and can read his previous columns here.

“I came to this country from Puebla, Mexico with my family when I was a small child. We lived in Tucson, Arizona and I became a citizen when I was six-years-old. I have seen a lot of this country now that I am 38. I lived in Texas, Connecticut, New York, Baltimore, and have been in Washington for 26 years.

“Politicians in this city come-and-go, and they all make promises about helping the immigrants. We are a country of immigrants, but we go through times when people don’t like us very much. Just look at what is happening in Arizona. Look at the politicians from all over the country who live in my city and want to make like hard for all of the hard working immigrants who live in America.

“Remember, I am an American and can work, but people still see my skin and think that I am not one of you. Do you need me to remind you that we are all immigrants? Look at Obama. His father is from Africa.

“I don’t know, maybe things were better back with Washington and Lincoln because I don’t see much change with Bush and Obama. Our presidents go off and travel to India and China and start wars abroad rather than go to places like Honduras or El Salvador. If people here cared about immigration, they would try and help the people in those countries, so they wouldn’t come live here. Instead, we are a country that collects enemies. We need to change how we live.

“I hope that things will change. If not, I guess I will go back to Mexico.”

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