09/25/2012 10:16 am ET

The Paradox Of Mexicantown: Detroit's Uncomfortable Relationship With The Immigrants It Desperately Needs

“He called me from there.” Rojelia Vargas pointed toward the Detroit Immigration and Customs Enforcement building where her husband, Gustavo, an undocumented immigrant, sat detained on a May afternoon. Two dozen Latinos marched on the sidewalk outside. “Powerlessness. Sadness. We cried.”

State representative Coleman Young, Jr., dressed in a crisply-contrasted black suit jacket and red shirt, addressed protesters through a translator: ICE, he said, behaved like an "apex predator." The baby-faced 28-year-old, son of Detroit's first black mayor and progenitorial embodiment of its post-1960s political elite, is at ease speaking to the newest members of the city's downtrodden working class.

Flickr photo by diametrik.

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