Tish Lampert

Photographer
    
THREE MINUTES ALLOWED
Location: Los Angeles
Nationality: American
Biography: TISH LAMPERT   BIO: TISH LAMPERT www.tishlampert.org TISH  LAMPERT Photojournalist, Writer & Host of “America Speaks Podcast”  Author of  We Protest: Protecting The America We Believe In  (Rizzoli, March.... read on
Public Story
THREE MINUTES ALLOWED
Credits: tish lampert
Date of Work: 01/21/17 - Ongoing
Updated: 12/02/19
Archived as:  ,
THREE MINUTES ALLOWED
"While some want to build more walls, Border Angels, opens doors. Love has no borders....we hope to open  'door of hope' 3 times, next year! Si se puede!" Executive director, founder border angels, Enrique Morones

It was two years ago that the 'Door of Hope' was opened at the U.S./Mexican border, to allow twelve families who have been separated by deportation, to re-unite. This program is now discontinued by the Trump administration. Three minutes was all the time that was allowed. In these few minutes, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, along with their young children, stood at the intersection of Mexico and the United States and clung on to each other with desperation while feeling that touch, that connection, along with the pain from their time apart. These intimate moments occurred in front of a crowd of spectators and border patrol. I admit it felt as if we were intruding. As I witnessed and photographed each of these twelve families, I was mindful of what it means to document these reunions, at the expense of exploiting these families’ misfortune. Yet for each of those who had waited years for this chance to see their loved one, their longing and excitement displaced the awkwardness of being on display. If you have three minutes to bask in the love and remembrance of your partner, or your mother, or your child, the outside world is a blur.
Something happened to all of us in this crowd.  We were united by these families’ love and longing. We cried. We were humbled by their grace. We were uplifted by their joy, watching young children meet a grand parent or an uncle for the first time. Sisters who could just hold onto to each other for the entire three minutes and then had to be torn apart again when their time was up. The brothers, who at first were sensitive to being watched, quickly moved in to huddle with the entire family. But it was in the eyes of the children that we could see a deep confusion. A child does not understand why their family suffers. Their questioning looks said it all. The circumstances that have broken these families apart feel very wrong.  
The visitations were carefully choreographed. Families stood in line until it was their turn. Then they were escorted, by border patrol, to walk fifty feet to the door of hope, where their loved one was waiting in anticipation. From the instant they made contact there was not a sound in the crowd. We all lost that sense of being strangers. Even border patrol was sensitive to the emotional mood.
Media was cordoned off on the right and we could only see what was taking place from the U.S. side, however I did notice that on the Tijuana side the press was allowed a wider birth.  I knelt low on the ground to shoot with my long lens able to bracket the reunions. This provided a unique angle and I disappeared into the close up of that first kiss, or the cuddling of the baby, or the grandpa whose gaze was directed to his grandchildren waiting in line, because they were not allowed to join in. He reached out with his hand, as if to touch them, and his yearning sent shivers through me. He lit up as he saw his treasured granddaughter smile back at him. This frail man’s face held a lifetime of struggle and defeat but in that moment he was a proud parent. By then my face was damp with tears.

Throughout this afternoon what amazed me the most was the reaction from border patrol. There were six officers there, five men and one woman. You would think they have developed a thick armor to ward off the profound sadness that comes with these separations. Yet through my lens I found their hearts wide open and compassionate. Each of these officers felt grateful to be a part of these unforgettable moments, even though the moments were fleeting.

The rangers stood in formation, against the metal fence, to signal that time was up. Enrique Morones, the initiator of this landmark event, stood by as the door of hope slowly closed. The rangers lifted the thick metal rod into place as it clamped shut. The sound of that finality struck the hearts of those walking away with the reality of once again being without their loved one.

This event is only possible because of Enrique Morones. He is the tireless crusader who has helped countless, caught in the snare of deportation. His organization, Border Angels, delivers pallets of water weekly on the Mexican side of the border. Enrique and his foot soldiers prevent unnecessary deaths for those who are risking their lives to seek a better life. As Trumps zero tolerance policy has flared to a heartless reaction to those seeking asylum, the community in Southern California have come together to protest the detention of countless in the deportation centers. This ongoing humanitarian crisis has become one of the signature issues that have defined Donald Trump and caused irrevocable damage to those struggling to ap find a life free from violence hunger and daily threats to their families.
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By Tish Lampert —

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City of Angels Under Isolation and Readying for the Seige

By Tish Lampert — As Los Angeles shuttered and everyone sheltered in place, emptiness collided with the raw and severe life on the streets. The everyday forces too..
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These Are Times Like No Other- Consider My Book -A Reflection of US

By Tish Lampert — David Shipler reading the foreword he wrote for my book -just released :We Protest Fighting For What We Believe In -please support this book..
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The Children Now In Limbo In Tijuana

By Tish Lampert — What has happened to the migrant children who have been denied asylum in the U.S.? The children who were separated from their families and then on..
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Final Resting Place

By Tish Lampert — Terrace Park Cemetery, Holtville California is home to the burial ground where over 600 migrants are laid to rest in unmarked grave sites. Bricks..
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I PROTEST

By tish lampert — Listen to the America Speaks Podcast Series , here or via iTunes . I have focused my lens on activism since the early seventies, documenting..
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WE ARE BECOMING WHAT WE HATE

By tish lampert — “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, and Your Hungry”. What does this mean today, in Trump's new paradigm of racism, when the U.S. is on a..
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SUB - SAHARA

By tish lampert — I was in the DRC as the country was climbing  out of the horrific long time proxy war. Josheph Kabilla was about to be inaugurated and the..
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WATER-THE DRIVING FORCE IN NATURE

By tish lampert — WATER-THE DRIVING FORCE IN NATURE The magnificence of the North Pacific is mostly  unspoiled  from British Columbia and down the..
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To Fly With The Eagle

By tish lampert — In the US today, almost a million people take to the slopes every winter and spring, planning each holiday and long weekend around snow conditions...
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ROOM WITH A VIEW - DAY/ NIGHT

By tish lampert — On vacation, one summer morning, I was in a boutique hotel having coffee and enjoying the view from my fifth floor room. I saw a man pacing on the..
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OUR LIVES MATTER

By tish lampert — In 2000 I set out to look for America, because the country felt so divided after the presidential election. I was in search of a visual template..
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America Speaks

By tish lampert — I have focused my lens on activism since 1967 when I first picked up my camera and marched for civil rights. The momentum that compels people to..
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WOMEN OUR 51 % MINORITY

By tish lampert — WOMEN WILL NOT BE SILENCED During the past year I have traveled across America, as the contentious campaign of 2016 resulted with the election of..
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MUGARUKA, WARRIOR GORILLA SURVIVING THE DRC

By tish lampert — MUGARUKA, WARRIOR GORILLA SURVIVING THE DRC My journey into the Kahuzi Biega Reserve led me through war torn East Kivu, in the Democratic Republic..
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