There was one apartment building I used to live in that was a bit seedier than others I’ve lived in. It was part of a whole bunch of buildings all in a couple block area and was the deluxe unit at $365 a month with all utilities paid. You should have seen how bad the cheapest studios were there. Regardless, those apartments happened to have a large immigrant population who were not in the country legally.
Now, before anyone gets upset, I know this because one of my neighbors told me about this. I don’t know why he chose to tell me, but he got to talking to me one day and happened to mention that he lived upstairs with six or so other guys (a one bedroom apartment) who all worked at a nearby packing plant and were all in the country illegally. I shrugged. I wouldn’t have guess that he hadn’t been born in the US, but the fact that he was in the country illegally didn’t really bother me.
What did interest me, though, was the strategy he chose to relate to me regarding how he was managing not to get discovered. As I mentioned, I never would have guessed that he wasn’t from the US. He didn’t even seem to have an accent (though that should have only been so much of a surprise since he’d been caught and sent back five or so times before). He pointed to his long hair (tied back in a loose braid kind of thing as it was), tongue piercing, and other such things. That was his strategy, he’d gone freak. He insisted that cops didn’t even think he might be an immigrant and thus never checked.
Frankly, it sounded like a bit from Born in East L.A. Either way, it seemed to work. I lost track of the guy after that, but I never heard about him getting caught by immigration. I guess it was a decent enough strategy.