Human+Kind: Carlos's Story

CARLOS. 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.

CARLOS. 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.

Carlos — I was deported near Nogales, Arizona. I was working in a restaurant and I got picked up. My idea was to earn a little money in Tijuana and then cross back to the United States. I’ve been here 5 years. I earn a living by washing car windows [as they wait at a red light]. It’s not easy to earn a living here. Washing windows is better than the turning to crime.

I pay three dollars a night to sleep in a shelter, just so that I don’t have to sleep in the street. I make six or seven dollars a day washing windows. They say it’s a crime to sleep in the street. There was a night when it hailed, and it got really cold. When morning came, my bones were frozen, so I had to start a fire to get warm. That night, three people that slept nearby never woke up. 

I left twin daughters in the United States. There’s nothing I can do. I’ve tried to cross but the migra [border patrol] has been tough. The fog’s been rolling in these days — God willing it will be possible to cross. I don’t do it for myself but for my kids. They’re growing up, they’re three years old now, and it’s important that they have a father.

Something is going to happen. I pray to God every day for my girls. I haven’t been able to call them. I lost their number about four months ago. It’s depressing but here we are.

Life is different here. I used to take warm showers, sleep in my own bed, and change my clothes daily. I can’t do that now.