Friday, July 30, 2010

Charlotte student crosses borders for immigrants

Saul Flores, 20, is walking, hitchhiking, and photographing a 4,000 mile journey that many immigrants take to reach the United States every day.

The Harding High graduate hopes to raise awareness about immigration and money for an impoverished school in his family's hometown in Mexico. The rising N.C. State senior took a moment along his journey to talk with me about his goals.

What possessed you to do such a thing?
It is a perilous, dangerous, and sometimes mortal walk that many people, including my family, have been making for years. It is overlooked and disregarded when immigration issues are brought up in our media.

When did you start and how long will the trip take?
My trip began on May 17th, 2010, in Quito, Ecuador, and will continue through early August. I plan, and hope, to make it back into the United States by the start of the new semester at my university.

Where are you now?
I arrived in Atencingo, Mexico last night and have scheduled to stay here until Friday morning. I´m then heading to Juarez, Mexico to finish my series of photographs on the Latino cultures.

What’s your plan for today and the next few days?
Here in Atencingo, my plan is to study, evaluate,and understand the education system of Atencingo. I will be assessing the school the money raised is to benefit. At night, I will be contacting local and national newspapers, radio and television stations in Mexico and in the United States. It is a hard time for the Latino culture, it is my goal to shed light on the realities of our countries.

How far are you from your final destination?
My walk will finish in Arizona as a protest towards the new Senate Bill 1070 that will soon go into effect. I have been traveling for the past two months and anticipate reaching Arizona within the next 10 days.

How are you getting around?
Opportunity and faith have been my guide. I have crossed countries by canoe, hitched along the Pan-American Highway, and hopped behind buses to reach all of my destinations.

Where are you sleeping?
Anywhere that is dark and I can close my eyes. So far I have stayed in huts with indigenous groups, camped outside Mayan pyramids, slept on hammocks, and found floor space along the Carribean Sea. There´s nothing better than to sleep to the sounds of the ocean.

What are you eating?
Exhaustion and nerves made me loose my appetite about a month ago. But here in Atencingo, with my grandmother, I have eaten more than on my whole trip.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve seen or heard?
Living with the KUNA, an indigenous group in Panama, has taught me to see an environmental lifestyle untouched by foreign influence or commercial products.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Mental exhaustion is worse than anything, I am my biggest challenge. However, I did manage to make contact with a blue poison dart frog while crossing the Darien gap. It numbed my right leg and upper lip for a couple of days.

What's next for you?
Once arrived in the United States, I am looking for locations to display series of photographs and exhibit my journey of ¨The Walk of the Immigrants.¨ As well as sell prints to local businesses and companies. I hope to hear from local galleries in North Carolina, Arizona and in New York.

To learn more about Saul’s trip, and his photography, visit


Larry said...

We need to stop asking for any type of ID in this country at all.

Go to

Until we all are protect not one of us can be protected.

Anonymous said...


wiley said...

It is a perilous, dangerous, and sometimes mortal walk that many people, including my family, have been making for years. It is overlooked and disregarded when immigration issues are brought up in our media.

Your comments about the media "disregarding and overlooking" immigration issues by the media is not the problem.

You and your family along with hundreds of thousands of others who break the laws of the United States by entering our country illegally are the problem.

It's interesting how last year almost a half a million Mexicans immingrated LEGALLY to the U.S. through proper channels.

I'm tired of your pathetic whining and those who support illegals breaking the laws of the U.S.

How dare YOU disregard and overlook those FACTS Sir!

Larry said...

I am selling an old set of Golf Clubs that I had thought about selling on Craigs List but reading this got me to thinking that you would give me free space.

I used them in Phoenix and I am sure that some Illegals had cut the grass and worked hard on that course so that is the tie in with these clubs.

Anyway I was going to sell time for say 50 bucks total.

But since they are so precious to the movement we all now embrace I feel I could never part with them for less than 50 dollar each and I will be holding an event in New York and I am sure the Observer will be covering it.

In fact I hope the Observer will help sponsor it. We can call it Driving the USA forward!

Anonymous said...

Illegal is illegal. Obey the law and enter the country the right way or do not come at all.

David I said...

I'm all for this young man doing what he thinks is right and good for his causes. The issue I have though is he admits he and his family have lived here in the US for years illegally and now he wants to show how bad it is for the people in his home country. If it is so bad, which I'm certainly not denying, why do none of these people stick around and try to do something about it. Instead the vast majority completely desert their homeland to come here.

If these illegal immigrants do come here looking for a better life and take full advantage of our systems in place, why do we never hear of any of them trying to do anything to make the US a better place? Could it be because they simply want to use the resources in this country while not contributing to the betterment of this nation?

If his cause was to help the poor people out in this country, I might be in to this. But as he clearly stated all of the proceeds will go to Mexicans. I'm not supporting them. Until every single American citizen is taken care of, I have nothing to give to any other nation's problems. That would be the same thing as allowing your own children to starve while you go out and feed your neighbors kids. No one would ever do that.

Anonymous said...

I hate mexicans

Anonymous said...

I hope he doesn't cross any of the cartel battles that are happening on our border. There are more killings in the border region than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Anyone who is failing to enforce the laws on the books should be removed from office and charged with treason. It is proven that terrorists are teaming up with drug cartels to operate in the area and smuggle people and weapons into this country. Anyone who opposes enforcing the laws on the books is an enemy of this country. How about writing an article about local law enforcement on the border that is outgunned by these cartels. These local law enforcement agencies cannot get funding to acquire the weapons/personell necessary to enforce the law. There is actually a charity that has been set up to help fund a border sherrif's department efforts to defend themselves.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the kid will figure out why people risk their lives to flee these countries in the first place.
Maybe Obama has a plan for illegal immigration after all: It looks like he is implementing the same Marxist theories that have devastated Latin American countries, that should provide a deterent to those wanting to risk their lives to come here.

Anonymous said...

Franco is an idiot. Quit trying to right an illegal activity. Or why not try a story that sheds light on what Mexican authorities do to illegals they catch, (especially the women). If you truly cared about the plight of these losers you might take your lazy butt to Mexico and protest the treatment there. Just like all the other illegal lovers, as long as they don't move in next to you and kill your family it's all good. Well here's to hoping a drunk illegal crosses path's with you one day and maybe you will see the light.

Anonymous said...

Keep on a walking. The 1st offense for illegally entering Mexico is 2 years in prison and
2nd is 10 years.

Anonymous said...

I feel so sorry for people so terrified and faithless that they cannot not see the truth.

There is no reference to his immigration or citizenship status. You assume he is illegal based on what? The fact that he has had family members who made that journey? I had family members who made that journey in 1597. Admit it, you made your evaluation based on his skin color and accent.

Thank God that young people like him and the Dream Act students have more faith in America than you cowardly bigots are showing.

Anonymous said...

wiley said...

Well stated. It is truly sad that people like this get so much free press. On another note, I graduated from UNC-CH and recently learned that the University admits and confers degrees to ILLEGAL ALIENS. Just thought every parent who's child was not admitted should know.

wiley said...

I had family members who made that journey in 1597.

In 1597 the United States didn't exist.

Just for informational purpose, here's a timeline of immigration laws of the United States.

Significant Historic Dates in U.S. Immigration
Naturalization Act of 1790: Stipulated that "any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States"
1875: Supreme Court declared that regulation of US immigration is the responsibility of the Federal Government.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act: Prohibited certain laborers from immigrating to the United States.
1885 and 1887: Alien Contract Labor laws which prohibited certain laborers from immigrating to the United States.
1891: The Federal Government assumed the task of inspecting, admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the U.S.
1892: On January 2, a new Federal US immigration station opened on Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
1903: This Act restated the 1891 provisions concerning land borders and called for rules covering entry as well as inspection of aliens crossing the Mexican border.
1907 The US immigration Act of 1907: Reorganized the states bordering Mexico (Arizona, New Mexico and a large part of Texas) into Mexican Border District to stem the flow of immigrants into the United States.
1917 - 1924: A series of laws were enacted to further limit the number of new immigrants. These laws established the quota system and imposed passport requirements. They expanded the categories of excludable aliens and banned all Asians except Japanese.
1924 Act: Reduced the number of US immigration visas and allocated them on the basis of national origin.
1940 The Alien Registration Act: Required all aliens (non-U.S. citizens) within the United States to register with the Government and receive an Alien Registration Receipt Card (the predecessor of the "Green Card").
1950 Passage of the Internal Security Act: Rendered the Alien Registration Receipt Card even more valuable. Immigrants with legal status had their cards replaced with what generally became known as the "green card" (Form I-151).
1952 Act: Established the modern day US immigration system. It created a quota system which imposes limits on a per-country basis. It also established the preference system that gave priority to family members and people with special skills.
1968 Act: Eliminated US immigration discrimination based on race, place of birth, sex and residence. It also officially abolished restrictions on Oriental US immigration.
1976 Act: Eliminated preferential treatment for residents of the Western Hemisphere.
1980 Act: Established a general policy governing the admission of refugees.
1986 Act: Focused on curtailing illegal US immigration. It legalized hundred of thousands of illegal immigrants. The 1986 Immigration Act is commonly know as the 1986 Immigration Amnesty. It also introduced the employer sanctions program which fines employers for hiring illegal workers. It also passed tough laws to prevent bogus marriage fraud.
1990 Act: Established an annual limit for certain categories of immigrants. It was aimed at helping U.S. businesses attract skilled foreign workers; thus, it expanded the business class categories to favor persons who can make educational, professional or financial contributions. It created the Immigrant Investor Program.
USA Patriot Act 2001: Uniting and Strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism.

wiley said...
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wiley said...
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Anonymous said...

He's not illegal. He's clearly an anchor baby. And he's promoting the Reconquista plan. This is your state university tax dollars at work.

Anonymous said...

Franco, why don't you write about people who come to the US through proper channels?

You'd garner a lot more sympathy that way.

Maybe you have little regard for people who respect US laws?

Anonymous said...

Is this walk going to include a stop at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office to apply for a green card and then wait until it is granted before crossing the border. Has he already lined up employment and had his future employer apply on his behalf for a work visa, or had a relative sponsor his entrance before starting his walk? Or just plan on jumping the border.

Anonymous said...

Wiley. Spanish speaking people settled near what is now Espanola, NM in 1598. When do you think that journey started?

The United States border crossed their descendants in NM in 1848. At that time, NM and AZ were all one territory. Together they had sufficient population to become a state immediately. The territory was split in two, and statehood delayed until Arizona achieved sufficient population in 1910. They were admitted as states in 1912.

But thanks for copying and pasting the irrelevant. That is the problem with certainty, isn't it?

Ray said...

This will be good practice for when his kids and their kids hitchhike to Canada. As they continue to suck our system and resources and our country struggles further behind, we'll start seeing them cross borders further north. Think I am kidding? It's already happening in major Canadian cities.

jjw901 said...

I agree he is probably an anchor baby. I wonder if he has a passport to get back in the US. Or will he pay a coyote to bring him in.

wiley said...

..Admitted as states WITHIN the Unites States which then assumed all laws relevant to the nation. So it is a moot point when your family came here. Mine came here in 1762 from Ireland, also prior to the US becoming an independent country.

Currently, it is ILLEGAL to cross into this country without proper papers and going through the process.

ALL illegals in the US should be processed and deported. Period.

Perhaps it is you that should look up the definition of illegal alien.

Section 1325 [of Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part VIII]. [U.S. Code as of: 01/06/03]

Improper entry by alien

(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection;
misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States
at any time or place other than as designated by immigration
officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration
officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United
States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the
willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or
imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or
imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to
enter) the United States at a time or place other than as
designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil
penalty of -
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or
attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of
an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under
this subsection.
Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not
in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be

Anonymous said...

Does he have his documents?

It doesn't mention anything about him spending any time in prison south of the border, so I guess he does.

I'm sure they NEVER ask, though, because those folks are just too sensitive to the plight of the illegal immigrant.

As long as it's ONE OF THEIR OWN!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

I hate mexicans
July 30, 2010 1:54 PM "

That will be the only outcome of this insane "immigration" nonesense...

People want citizenship without having to earn it...they want it because they demand it....

Ignoring the words illegal alien invasion when discussing "immigration" is just going to tick the tax payers even more.

Anonymous said...

HEY...MAYBE we should ask him to show all the illegals how to get BACK to Mexico?????

Anonymous said...

I am sick of these stories that attempt to glorify criminals.

Paul Klaene said...

Saul Flores is showing us how to be a true American and a true US citizen. We all need to be Good Samaritans. Thank you Saul for exhibiting real compassion and humanism.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed by the unvarnished and blind hatred of so many posters. They not only ignore the obvious fact that Saul is one of their fellow Americans, but they blame him and others for their hatred. It must be tragic to feel so terrified of life that one cannot take responsibility for one's own response to it.

You know, you can choose to accept that you are the beloved child of God, and that others are, as well. Life does not need to be terrifying.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked at how dumb everyone is. Someone already stated it, but who is to say that he himself is illegal?
No he will NOT need a stop into US immigration for a green card because he is a legal citizen of the United States. He made reference to family members coming illegally.

You all who don't support him are pathetic. You won't help support anything in another country until America is fixed?

Well please tell me what's the last thing you've done for your country?
What's the last thing you've done for America?

wiley said...

To all the bleeding hearts above, this is from Saul's website:

It is the purpose of this walk to:

First, enlighten the American audience on the perilous journey that Immigrants must make to arrive into the United States illegally.

What part of "illegal" do you not get?

We're supposed to glorify this guy who's end game is to go to Arizona and protest the state trying to take care of its LEGAL citizens?

One poster said this:

You all who don't support him are pathetic. You won't help support anything in another country until America is fixed?

You are the pathetic one by looking the other way as an American citizen to willfull law breakers.

Do you have locks on your doors? If you do, why? Based on your belief people should be able to come here and break our laws, then you would have no problem with anyone breaking into your house, right?

Arizona will prevail when this gets to the SCOTUS.

In 2005, the SCOTUS ruled 9-0 in Muehler v. Mena that police have the authority to ask for a person's immigration status if they have been detained for another infraction.

All illegals should be processed and deported. Period.

That's not being mean. That's not being racist. That is following the laws of the United States.

So what have I done for America? I'm working hard to ensure the likes of Saul do not corrupt the laws of this country.

Anonymous said...

Deprived of oxygen at birth, W? Take a breath. Just because Saul does not agree with you that administrative law trumps basic humanity does not make him the enemy. Maybe it just makes him Christian.

BTW: Not only are people making assumptions about Saul's citizenship and immigration status, they are also making assumptions about his mother's status. If I grew up dealing with that sort of bigotry, I doubt that my response would be as healthy as Saul's: to shed some light where there is darkness, and love where there is discord.

wiley said...

The laws of the United States are not predicated upon a person's religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Others here have speculated as to whether he is legal or not and that of his family.

My post from his site states his reasoning for doing this, which is to raise money and show how people travel through various countries to come to the U.S. --->> illegally <<---

I have no opinion of Saul as a person because I don't know him.

I disagree with his attempt to use, in your words "humanity" to justify breaking the law.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments aired here made me ashamed to list Charlotte as my hometown.

No matter what your political stance is on illegal immigration. People are still people. You can be against political policies but to be not be emphatic to good people's hardships only makes you look like a heartless person.

Some of you other people are just making Charlotte look bad by being stupid.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting! With dual citizenship,
elections will decided by people that are "Latina's" first. When the
politicians from Mexico don't like
a law or a politician, they can influence the vote by instructing
the Latina vote to do whats best for Mexico, after all it's Pres.
Calderon who said "Mexicans that live in the U.S. must remember they are Mexicans first"! In the
meantime if you try to enter Mexico without proper paperwork you
go for 2yrs. No protest! No waving
a foreign flag! No demands for
amnesty! Buddy! They like all other nations, "protect their borders, and enforce all immigration laws! Face it! We are being screwed right out of our country! Obama is a disaster!

Anonymous said...

Well please tell me what's the last thing you've done for your country?
What's the last thing you've done for America?


i voted a straight republican ticket during the last election and will again in november. we'll fight for the USA, you can fight for mexico

Anonymous said...

Shut your traps!

Anonymous said...

did the amigo anchor baby have his passport? Or did he really walk in illegals' shoes and say he was an illegal? If so, he should have been arrested @ the US to Mexico border as B.Hussien Obama's new security plan is to protect Mexico against their home grown criminals by arresting them if they try to leave our country. Yep, hat's right. Then, as he went from Mexico to another country, was he stopped at a legal border crossing or did he sneak over and again with or without passport. You are right, an anchor baby getting money for Mexico, soon, if Obama has his way we will be the United States of felon illegal Mexians and terrorists. We better vote GOP this time around, pronto.