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Launched TUESDAY April 21, 2020 on www.zReportage.com Story #733: The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be one of the worst economic recessions in American history, and the federal government has rightly taken preliminary steps to mitigate the harm for working-class Americans, and some economic relief is on the horizon for the average American. Unfortunately, there has been relatively little done to provide relief to a critical yet often overlooked segment of the American labor force: undocumented immigrants. There are multiple estimates of the undocumented population, a recent estimate from ACS American Community Survey puts it at 10.6 million. To put this figure into perspective, the undocumented working population is roughly the same size as the combined total working populations in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, or 4.6 percent of the entire American working population. Undocumented immigrants live in every state, and 22 states have undocumented populations of more than 100,000. California is home to more than 2 million undocumented immigrants, making up nearly 1 in 10 workers in the state. Many are taxpayers. In 2014 undocumented immigrants in California paid about $3.2 billion in state and local taxes. California Governor Newsom announced a statewide public-private partnership will provide financial support to undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19. California will provide $75 million in disaster relief assistance and philanthropic partners have committed to raising an additional $50 million. Across the U.S., immigrant's rights groups, labor organizations and some lawmakers are calling on national officials to provide relief for undocumented workers ineligible for food and other safety net benefits and left out of the federal government's coronavirus stimulus checks, with a particular focus on those workers who filed taxes with ITINs. Mixed-status families are projected to be disproportionately negatively affected by this crisis, and their economic well-being is essential to the overall economic well-being of the United States.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
A team of immigrant farmworkers clean the remains of a harvested cauliflower field near Coachella.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
As dawn breaks over Huron, the workday begins. Twice each year, when lettuce is harvested in the area, the population doubles and Huron becomes a Grand Central terminal for the migrant workforce. Laborers gather in the main street where buses line up to take them to the fields. Some are on contract, but many just hope for a shift each day.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
As dawn breaks over Huron, the workday begins. Twice each year, when lettuce is harvested in the area, the population doubles and Huron becomes a Grand Central terminal for the migrant workforce. Laborers gather in the main street where buses line up to take them to the fields. Some are on contract, but many just hope for a shift each day. Gang members know that workers without bank accounts carry large amounts of cash, and robberies are common.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
As dawn breaks over Huron, the workday begins. At 5 am, buses come to take the workers to the fields. Many are undocumented, and so are fearful of revealing their identities.Twice each year, when lettuce is harvested in the area, the population doubles and Huron becomes a Grand Central terminal for the migrant workforce. Laborers gather in the main street where buses line up to take them to the fields. Some are on contract, but many just hope for a shift each day. Gang members know that workers without bank accounts carry large amounts of cash, and robberies are common. It was once described as 'knife-fight city,' due to the evening activities of some migrants who descend on the city. Huron, the 'Heart of the Valley,' is a city of 5,900 in western Fresno county with six bars, five gangs and a famous drug alley.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
Just outside of Huron, the mainly undocumented migrant workforce takes the back-breaking work of lettuce picking, which earns on average six to eight dollars an hour. California's Central Valley offers at least seasonal agriculture jobs to 600,000 to 700,000 workers each year. Huron, the 'Heart of the Valley,' is a city of 5,900 in western Fresno county with six bars, five gangs and a famous drug alley. Twice a year, when the lettuce is harvested, the population doubles. Gang members know that workers without bank accounts carry large amounts of cash, and robberies are common. It was once described as 'knife-fight city,' due to the evening activities of some migrants who descend on the city. Huron, the 'Heart of the Valley,' is a city of 5,900 in western Fresno county with six bars, five gangs and a famous drug alley.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
A team of immigrant farmworkers clean the remains of a harvested cauliflower field near Coachella.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
A team of immigrant farmworkers clean the remains of a harvested cauliflower field near Coachella.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
ENRIQUE dreams in dollars! Enrique (not his real name) , is a 35 year old undocumented farmworker from Mexico. To reach California, he paid a coyote $1200 and endured three straight days walking in the Arizona desert. His home, which was donated, is an overcrowded and moldy trailer. He is one of the lucky immigrants- others in town have to pay up to $400 a month for similar accommodations, with no running water or bathroom facilities. Although it is damp and cramped, he prefers the privacy over living in a shared room at the labor camps in town. About 39 percent of Huron's residents have incomes below the poverty line.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
ENRIQUE (not his real name), is a 35 year old undocumented farmworker from Mexico. To reach California, he paid a coyote $1200 and endured three straight days walking in the Arizona desert. His home, which was donated, is an overcrowded and moldy trailer. He is one of the lucky immigrants- others in town have to pay up to $400 a month for similar accommodations, with no running water or bathroom facilities. Although it is damp and cramped, he prefers the privacy over living in a shared room at the labor camps in town. About 39 percent of Huron's residents have incomes below the poverty line.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
A team of immigrant farmworkers clean the remains of a harvested cauliflower field near Coachella.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
Just outside of Huron, the mainly undocumented migrant workforce takes the back- breaking work of lettuce picking, which earns on average six to eight dollars an hour. California's Central Valley offers at least seasonal agriculture jobs to 600,000 to 700,000 workers each year. Huron, the 'Heart of the Valley,' is a city of 5,900 in western Fresno county with six bars, five gangs and a famous drug alley. Twice a year, when the lettuce is harvested, the population doubles. Gang members know that workers without bank accounts carry large amounts of cash, and robberies are common. It was once described as 'knife-fight city,' due the evening activities of some migrants who descend on the city.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
ENRIQUE, a mexican illegal immigrant farmworker, walks the streets of Huron at dawn in search of a days work picking lettuce. California's Central Valley offers at least seasonal jobs to 600,000 to 700,000 workers each year.
© Robert Gallagher/ZUMA Wire
Robert Gallagher

Robert Gallagher (born 1969 in Kensington, England) is an award winning[1][2][3] commercial and editorial photographer currently based in Los Angeles, California. He has been awarded three times in the prestigious Communication Arts Photography Annual,[4] named one of the 'Top 25 Photographers of 2016' by Creative Quarterly[5] and is archived in The National Portrait Gallery in London.:733



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