Photographer Depicts Mexican Immigrants Lives Through Lens

By KGNS News

In light of the bloody drug war across the border, one Laredoan hopes to grab the attention of many through an art exhibit on Mexican Immigration in the United States.

"The faces of these people reveal the truth."

Photographer Barbara Steinberg traveled through Nuevo Laredo, the Gateway City and other surrounding towns capturing the emotions behind several Mexican immigrants.

"I wanted to show the sameness of the economic conditions versus the differences in the peoples faces between happiness and fear of war,” Steinberg said.

As Pro 8 News has reported, the escalating drug war has many people changing their lifestyle fearing being caught in the gunfire that's claimed the lives of thousands across the border.

"As long as the government keeps engaging in this illegal business with the drug cartels and the corruption goes on, the tank is just a front,” said Steinberg as she referred to a picture of a Mexican military tank. “The tank when you first cross into Nuevo Laredo is a front to make it look as if things are secure."

Through the art exhibit at the public library Steinberg aims to reveal the truth and main reason behind so many Mexicans crossing into the United States.

The faces of those living in the U.S. reveal happiness but on the other side of the glass it's a different story-- desperation, fear, and suspicion could be seen through their eyes.

"They are escaping war,” Steinberg added.

Also aiming to open people's eyes on the consequences behind not accepting Mexican immigrants in the U.S., Steinberg said it's somewhat similar to the St. Louis ship prior to World War II.

"It was the ship that carried 900 Jews in the middle of the Holocaust trying to escape death in the concentration camp and Roosevelt turned it back and they all died,” said Steinberg. “That was the birth of the Jewish lobby in the U.S."

Since Mexico's President Felipe Calderon launched the fight against drug trafficking organizations it's reported more than 26,000 people have died as a result.

Steinberg said the misconception and distorted facts of Mexican immigrants inspired her to capture the immigrants lives on both sides of the border. Her art exhibit will be displayed at the Laredo public library through August.

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