Each year, thousands of Mexican workers traveling to the United States through the system of H-2A visas (for use in the agricultural sector) and H-2B (for use in the service sector: construction, domestic work and services cleaning).
Many of them become victims of fraud, extortion, harassment and other abuses. Through charts, photos and stories, this project examines the problems and offers a few solutions.
The Story Behind the Project
This project illustrates the need for both Mexico and the United States to work together to protect the rights of temporary workers. And so it’s fitting that the team working on the project had Mexicans and Americans.
Adriana Aguilar works for Proyecto de Derechos Económicos Sociales y Culturales A.C. (Project for Economic, Social and Cultural rights A.C.), which helps H2A and H2B visa workers. Maria Zamudio is a journalist for the Chicago Reporter who has written stories about labor violations in the Chicago area. “Adriana had data and testimonies that I didn’t have. And I knew where to get data she didn’t know how to get,” Maria said.
Christian Solís, a Mexican designer, created an illustration for the site. Dan Hill, an American journalist, worked on data analysis and web development.
Adriana’s organization will use the website to educate others about the issue. Maria said that she will continue to work on stories about the labor violations suffered by undocumented workers and is grateful to now have a source and a friend in Mexico.