He wanted formerly undocumented immigrants to go public. Then Trump won
hen Miguel Luna began to wear the little black pin, he wasn’t sure how people would react.
“I’m either going to get hugged or I’m going to get punched,” he told his wife.
The presidential election was a few days away and Luna had just launched an online photo project that he called “the Power of U.”
U stood for undocumented, and the idea was to share the stories of the formerly undocumented, and of their parents and grandparents. He would take their photos and gather their tales and then give each a black pin to wear, bearing the white letter U.
Luna thought people would proudly wear the pin and he’d collect 100 stories by the end of 2016.
Then Donald J. Trump won the presidency, and everything changed. Much of the confidence immigrants without legal status had felt for years seemed to have been zapped overnight.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Luna said. “We were all walking around like zombies.”
No longer would undocumented people out themselves during protests. Or chain themselves to federal buildings to demand reform. Or confidently share their names with the media.
Many today are anxious even showing up to work.
Luna doesn’t include people who are still undocumented in his project. He’s afraid of putting them in harm’s way.
He focuses instead on permanent residents and citizens. But these days, even they worry about putting less-secure relatives at risk.