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Anonymous Immigrant Workers

John Simpson | United States

Between the Slats: Working to provide for others, this man said he is working to make a better life for himself. "It's hard when there are not many ways to get ahead," he told me.

There are millions of immigrants in America who labor in anonymity while providing much of what most Americans take for granted.

Like the plants and flowers in their front and back yards.

The eleven accompanying images were made while working for a short time in a plants and flowers greenhouse business.  In capturing the dignity of the women and men who appear here, it is hoped that they - and other immigants like them - do not remain in anonymity.

This is to say that immigrant workers must be accorded a working minimum wage, quality health care, educational opportunities, and a place at the labor negotiation table.

I had the opportunity to work for a short time alongside immigrants at a large nursery operation.  The majority of these women and men had come to the United States from Central and South America looking to improve their lives.

While walking from field to field in order to fill an order, we talked about their hopes and dreams for the future.

I also learned that most of these individuals were just getting by financially, that they were not sure if they had medical benefits, that they were not sure how - or where - to go to school, and that they did not know how or when or even if they could earn a raise in pay.

Perhaps these images will help in the discussion about those who labor in anonymity.

John Simpson


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