Wednesday, 22 July 2009
I find out, after returning to the mission that there have been ICE officials scanning the parking lot at Home Depot. Padre runs out there to take care of anyone he can. He returns later; thank god there were no arrests.
But the rest of the day, everyone is jumpy. A new woman comes into the mission and eyes me suspiciously. I overhear her question to the girl I am talking to—Is she the mirga? I am horrified. I never guessed people might look at me and see me as the oppressor.
Later that day, I am interviewing a man. He is homeless, I know, but he is giving me the runaround. I just stop by here, he said, waving at the camp. I have a girlfriend! A son! I live with them! I live with my son and my girlfriend! He repeats it over and over.
Surprisingly, despite his suspicions, he is still willing to talk to me, even if he is projecting an alter-persona. So I am asking him some questions when he stops.
You aren’t a reporter, are you? Are you? He accuses suddenly, like he is teasing it out of me—this great secret. You are la migra, huh? That’s it! You aren’t a reporter.
The muchacha is a reporter, my friends vouch for me, just as the girl did back at the mission.
But it stings all the same.