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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Culture > Art > Superhero Exhibit Underscores Value of Immigrant Labor

Superhero Exhibit Underscores Value of Immigrant Labor

LatinaLista — Monday nights are addictive for those of us who have gotten hooked on the NBC series Heroes.

The idea that ordinary-looking people can have these incredible qualities makes it all the more believable that a “Superman” could actually be walking among us.

But sometimes, we get so caught up in the glamour of these supernatural Superheroes that we totally bypass seeing the everyday heroes we pass on the street.

Well, thanks to Mexican-born photographer, Dulce Pinzon, we have an easier time recognizing those kinds of heroes among us.


Dulce Pinzon

Dulce created an interesting prize-winning photo exhibit she calls “The Real Story of the Superheroes.”

The SuperHeroes in Dulce’s exhibit are Mexican immigrants who live and work in New York City.

Now because of the nature of some recent Latina Lista comments, it’s not hard to predict that some will jump to the conclusion that these immigrants must be illegal – they’re not identified one way or another.

Those who will insist that they are undocumented will claim that people who break the law can’t be heroes.

Well, the following is from a highly respected Dallas immigration lawyer named David Swaim who talks about how most undocumented immigrants are not really criminals:

Illegal entry into the US is a violation of a civil statute and is not a crime. In fact the US Supreme Court has ruled in a number
of cases dating back to the 1800s that deportation cases are not criminal proceedings because entering without inspection is not a crime (it is however a crime to reenter the US illegally after being deported).

Speeding in your car is a crime; walking across the border without inspection is not.
Interestingly, you have greater protection from the government if you exceed the speed limit than if you illegally enter the country. All of the protections of the US Constitution are available to speeders whereas very few are available to someone placed in deportation proceedings.

In those proceedings, people are routinely denied basic rights such as freedom from illegal arrest and detention, and access to bond proceedings. It would actually be a great benefit to “illegal aliens” if entry without inspection were made a crime. It also would be very bad public policy.

Onto the exhibit:

An introduction to the exhibit by Dulce states:

The Mexican immigrant worker in New York is a perfect example of the hero who has gone unnoticed. It is common for a Mexican worker in New York to work extraordinary hours in extreme conditions for very low wages which are saved at great cost and sacrifice and sent to families and communities in Mexico who rely on them to survive.

The Mexican economy has quietly become dependent on the money sent from workers in the US. Conversely, the US economy has quietly become dependent on the labor of Mexican immigrants. Along with the depth of their sacrifice, it is the quietness of this dependence which makes Mexican immigrant workers a subject of interest.

The principal objective of this series is to pay homage to these brave and determined men and women that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to withstand extreme conditions of labor in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper.

Under each of the 20 images, Dulce provides their name, job, their hometown in Mexico and how much money they send back home.

Oh yeah, and they’re dressed in true Superheroe fashions

Like Aquaman:

Juventino Rosas
from the State of México
works cleaning fish in New York
sends home $400 per week

or

Catwoman

Minerva Valencia
from Puebla
works as a babysitter in New York
sends home $400 per week

La verdad (The truth) is that we see these Superheroes every day and we take them for granted, never giving a second thought to the labor they provide, the lower pay they may get or the longer hours they may endure than the rest of us.

Maybe if they dressed like Superheroes, we would notice more.

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