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One hundred years after Lewis W. Hine started work on his Ellis Island portraits, I sought to document Latin American immigrants, hoping to give faces to the catch-all masses lambasted by Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, and others who equate immigration with crime. This collection of portraits of Central American immigrants was taken at the Belen Posada del Migrante, a shelter in the northern Mexican city of Saltillo.
A subplot of this project is the immigrants’ desire to travel for the sake of traveling. Many immigrants—particularly the males—who get to Saltillo do not continue their journey to the United States, but return to their home countries. Many seem to have found what they were looking for on the road.
John Sevigny is a photographer and teacher from Miami who lives in Mexico. His photographs have been exhibited in the United States, Mexico, and Portugal. He previously worked as a photographer and writer for international news organizations including the Associated Press and EFE News, the news agency of the Spanish government. His news photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Montreal Mirror, Dallas Observer, El Nuevo Herald, and People Magazine.