Of Mexican descent, I often found I had much more in common with the undocumented workers in that restaurant than I did with the cool customers they served and cooked for. At the end of the night, it was not uncommon to find myself hanging out with them in the kitchen, joking around in Spanish, talking about what brought us to New York in the first place.

Each had a story. Some sent all they earned back home to Mexico. Others found love in NYC and started families. We celebrated the births of their American-born children. All of them agreed they most likely would never move back.