Human+Kind: Diana's Story

Diana. Photo credit: Carlos Rodriguez, Red Cross volunteer

Diana. Photo credit: Carlos Rodriguez, Red Cross volunteer

Migration affects the lives of millions across the United States, the Americas, and globally. The Human+Kind project seeks to highlight the stories of migrants in the US-Mexico borderlands and the work of humanitarian organizations to support them, including the work of the Red Cross. For more from this project, please click here.

"I was born in Texas. I lived in the U.S. my whole life for over forty years. I came to Tijuana for the love of the man, chasing the boyfriend. He got deported. I’ve been here for over two years, working in a car wash in a parking lot. It’s a way to survive. It’s hard to find work here. They want young girls, 20 to 30, and if not they won’t hire you. You’re on your own.

"It’s very hard to live here. You don’t make enough money, compared to minimum wage in California. You make five to ten dollars a day here. It’s enough to eat and to rent your own room. Never enough to go to the disco or dress nice like a movie star.

"The saddest thing that I see from these deportations is that the government is not looking at the children that are affected. Children get very traumatized. I see a lot of dads here. They shed a lot of tears. They talk about their kids that they haven’t seen in years, and they wonder if their kids still like them as a father. It is so sad. I hear these stories every day from all of my buddies.

"I have been trying to be strong. You have to hold on. It’s a struggle here everyday. You can get stuck here in Tijuana.

"I want to get a lawyer to see if I can get my boyfriend pardoned. It’s the only way to get back. The whole border is very secure now. It’s very hard to get across.

"My children need him. Everyday I hear them ask me in my head when their dad is coming back home. Those are the hardest words that I’ve had to hear — when my nine year daughter asked if I had brought her dad home on the Greyhound. I had to say, ‘Not this time, sweetheart. Maybe next time I can get him on that damn bus. Maybe I can get him home in time for Christmas.’

"The one person that I most admire is Cesar Chavez. He marched throughout all of California so that it could be known that they should treat the Mexican just like everybody else…and not to discriminate against the Mexican because they’re in prison."