TIME Magazine is once again shining a national spotlight on Latino affairs, this time with a cover displaying 36 undocumented immigrants.
Previously, TIME highlighted a group of Arizona Latino voters — but the new issue is a bold proclamation — giving face and voice to the undocumented, while plainly stating that the issue of immigration will be top of mind for the 2012 election.
The undocumented immigrants, many of whom typically live their lives in the shadows, will be seen across the globe after TIME decided to distribute the cover for all of its worldwide editions.
“We are Americans,” the cover reads with an asterisk. “Just not legally,” it says below.
“We’re some of the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Why we’re done hiding,” the caption says.
Leading the crowd of undocumented immigrants is Jose Antonio Vargas, a former reporter for The Washington Post, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. Vargas received national attention for a piece in the New York Times titled, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” where he “outed” himself.
In TIME’s gallery highlighting each of the immigrants, it can be seen that they hail from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile and more Latin American countries but also include ones from Germany, India and other non-Latino countries.
TIME’s decision will surely be the latest flashpoint for a deeply polarizing American issue, but serves as a reminder that immigration will literally be at the forefront of the election — the same way the undocumented immigrants are proudly displayed on the cover.