The Deportees

Mexican Workers Flock to Staten Island Despite Hardships

Torres was the first to find his way to Staten Island and the laundromat, and sent word back home that there was plenty of work, albeit at low wages, and that "no one bothers you here." His sentiment is echoed by five laundromat workers who said they are accepted by their neighbors in the beach community, a blue-collar town that was once a resort getaway for the Irish and Italians.

"You can walk down the street at two in the morning for miles and it's safe," said Eduardo Palafox Gonzalez. After the raid, however, there are mixed feelings about staying. The most difficult aspect of emigrating, said Roberto Guiterez, is that he misses his family and the quieter way of life. "Some day, I would like to make enough money to stay here and work for six months in the summer and then six months in Mexico. I don't like the cold."

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