His name is Erik Mathy, he is an awesome human. He says it best…
I have ridden my bicycle, cameras in hand, 1200 miles along the old Butterfield Overland Mail Route (BOMR) to Tucson. Back in the late 1800’s, the BOMR was the main conduit for communications between St. Louis and California. As I was researching the route I was struck by how much has happened along it over the years. Japanese Internment and labor camps during WWII. Migrant labor camps from the Dust Bowl that are still in use today outside of Bakersfield. Indian reservations. Borders that have moved and shifted over time.
As I ride through all of these places Conducted short interviews and took portraits of people who are involved in all of this, both currently and historically. These are conversations that we should be having as a country and we just aren’t. My goal is to collect as many voices as I can in one place to create more discussion. I am doing my best to not just present one side. I am currently in talks with the US Border Patrol, for example, to get an interview while I am Calexico.
My fourth interview of the trip. Sharon Garrison was born in Sunset Camp, a migrant labor camp during the Dust Bowl and the setting for the Grapes of Wrath. Sharon was volunteering at her local polling station, doing so with a broken hip.
As usual, I am pairing my ride with a non-profit fundraiser. In this case, it’s Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). KIND is a legal non-profit that provides legal counsel to children in Immigration Courts. I’m a firm believer that we are all equal under the law. I don’t care how you got there, once you’re there, you should have all the rights anyone else has. Putting a toddler or a 6-year-old behind a desk to face off against a government attorney without legal representation is not “Equal under the law”.
KIND is also working to address the root of the cause, which is immigration policy as set by the Federal government. They have a policy arm in DC that talks to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle every day. If you feel moved, please donate to KIND. The link is below. I appreciate it greatly, and the children appreciate it even more!
And a couple more photos…