Activists led by the community group Calexico Needs Change have set up an encampment for farmworkers on a small piece of land alongside the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
It offers a place to sleep during the week so the farmworkers can avoid challenging daily commutes from their homes in Mexico. Without the encampment, the workers would have to leave their homes as early as midnight so they don’t get stuck in long lines at the border later in the morning.
Federal Government Pulls Out Of Calexico Land Purchase As Border Wall Funding Is Halted
Listen to this story by Jennifer Bowman of iNewsource.
For some farmworkers who are experiencing homelessness, it is their home for now.
The conditions are rough. There’s no running water or electricity. Outside of the shadow of the border fence, there’s little shade.
The community activists who established the encampment in January envision a space that will fill a variety of needs for farmworkers, but the future of the land remains uncertain.
The Calexico City Council recently voted to sell the property to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers without realizing the federal government was no longer able to purchase the land due to President Joe Biden’s proclamation halting border wall construction.
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Sergio Macias walks from the Calexico farmworker encampment to downtown where he will get a ride to work before dawn, Feb. 24, 2021.
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Sergio Macias walks through an intersection in downtown Calexico where he and other farmworkers gather for work before dawn, Feb. 24, 2021.
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Farmworkers stack boxes of cabbage at Vessey Farms in Holtville, Feb. 23, 2021.
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A farmworker harvests cabbage on Vessey Farms in Holtville, Feb. 23, 2021.
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A Biden-Harris campaign flag flies at the Calexico farmworker encampment on March 18, 2021.
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Humberto Chavez waters plants in a new garden at the Calexico farmworker encampment on March 18, 2021.
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Humberto Chavez passes in front of a tent that serves as the office at the Calexico encampment, March 18, 2021. Chavez is a retired farmworker who had been at the encampment for more than a week after undergoing a medical procedure.
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Hugo Castro, one of the people who helped build the farmworker encampment in Calexico, shows crosses that he has taped to the border fence, March 18, 2021.
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Alejandro Cazares stands in the entrance to the encampment office in Calexico on March 18, 2021.
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An ornate lamp sits inside a tent in the Calexico farmworker encampment on March 18, 2021.
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José Mundaca talks with Alejandro Cazares at the Calexico farmworker encampment on Feb. 23, 2021.
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Antonio Cuevas fries chicken in his tent at the Calexico farmworker encampment on March 18, 2021. Cuevas lives with his wife in Mexicali but works in the Imperial County fields.
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Hugo Castro, one of the people who helped build the farmworker encampment, digs rows for irrigation in the encampment garden, Calexico, March 18, 2021.