9.11.2007

New Latino Immigrants on the Gulf Coast

According to New Latino Immigrants on the Gulf Coast, a photo essay by Peter Holderness, half of New Orleans's workforce is now Latino.

However, these newest residents helping raise a post-Katrina New Orleans work under difficult circumstances. They are subject to abuse by unscrupulous employers, work under extremely dangerous conditions and denied basic health services. Now a growing number suffer from respiratory ailments from Katrina-related contamination.

Worst perhaps is the unwillingness of NO leaders to stand up for an essential workforce. Here's how Dr. Betsy Sells, a sociologist doing work with Tulane's School of Public Health, sees the situation:

I think the leaders of New Orleans recognize that we wouldn't be anywhere as far along with the recovery if it weren't immigrants. But they don't want to step into the quagmire of the immigration debate, so they just keep quite.
Sadly, it appears that real leaders are rare in American politics today.

Click here for more of Peter Holderness's wonderful work.