We quickly learned the Lake Apopka women did not see their work as a job without prestige or power, or as essentially undesirable work. Instead, we heard raucous stories about the ways they earned status within their community from their work.
Lange’s photographs can be considered “care work,” the devalued labor, integral to maintaining human life. By identifying the distress of migrant laborers’ lives, Lange indicated where care had lapsed.
In our current moment, as the Trump administration daily wields federal power to attack immigrant communities and workers’ rights, these kinds of community-driven struggles and organizations serve as a bulwark protecting families and empowering workers to make change where they live and work.
The Trump administration’s immigration policies have invited numerous comparisons to nineteenth-century regulations of enslaved persons. These comparisons will continue so long as the state retains the power to circumscribe a person’s mobility and employment opportunities through the policing of their legal status.
To the present and past Mexican farmworker families of Tulare County: I write for you and walk alongside you. Mis vecinos, you are right. You belong here, just as your history of endurance and resilience belongs in our archives.
Usually it is the Left that is stereotyped as tyrannical with its political correctness and assertions of rights, according to the standard Republican line. But really, it’s Trump coming for people’s land, stampeding over rights, and ignoring public opinion.