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The tough life of immigrants

March 15, 2009

I enjoyed Reed Johnson's article about Cary Joji Fukunaga's film and experiences ["Crossing Borders," March 8]. I look forward to seeing the movie. Perhaps Mr. Fukunaga might be interested in how immigrants like those depicted in his film live in Southern California.

It's a common occurrence for undocumented immigrant families to share 1,200 square feet divided between several families with each family having between five and 15 members. One family I know lived in a garage with a concrete slab floor, no insulation and no toilet. Their landlords in the house in front let them use the toilet but with only newspaper for TP. This dreary existence was far better than life in Mexico, where they were lucky to eat once a day.

The plight of immigrants is a difficult topic. There's no question that undocumented immigrants suffer horrible experiences to get here and the reason they come is that life is often not tenable there.

The suffering and deprivation many of these immigrants experience only begins in Latin America. Some undocumented families do fine economically in the U.S. and contribute a great deal to our society, but there are plenty of kindly, ignorant families that haven't the education or learning skills to succeed.

L. Jaoui

Claremont

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