Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
November 6, 2014

Remains of the Campaign: John Moore's Detention Photo from McAllen, Texas

One of the main casualties of the blowout midterm election — if it ever had a chance in the first place – is immigration reform. Getty’s John Moore has captured so many facets of this issue from detention to day labor, from housing to health care. This photo is from a border patrol detention center in McAllen Texas in early September.

Perhaps these thermal blankets are commonly used. Perhaps they have appeared in various editorial photographs of detention centers. Still, I hadn’t seen them before and the quality of the material – completely obscuring the young man under it – has a chilling effect. Excuse me for the association, the frustration fueled by the myopia surrounding fundamental social issues otherwise staring us in the face. Maybe I was overly plugging in to the legions laboring in the food service industry. The way immigrants are treated like a fungible commodity, however, this looked like what one might do with leftovers.

(photo: John Moore/Getty Images via U.S. Border Patrol Houses Unaccompanied Minors In Detention Center caption: A boy from Central America rests under a thermal blanket at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol on September 8, 2014 in McAllen, Texas. The Border Patrol opened the holding center to temporarily house the children after tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America crossed the border illegally into the United States during the spring and summer. Although the flow of underage immigrants has since slowed greatly, thousands of them are now housed in centers around the United States as immigration courts process their cases.)

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