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Once Ignored Back Home, Deportees Returning to Mexico Now Find 'Open Arms'

Elisabeth Malkin - The New York Times
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April 18, 2017
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Back to Reality: Waves of US-Deported Mexicans Struggle to Survive Back Home (Al Jazeera English)

Mexico’s president dashed to the airport to greet a planeload of deportees. The education minister rushed to the Texas border to meet Mexicans being kicked out of the United States. Mexico City’s labor secretary is urging companies to hire migrants who abruptly find themselves sent back home.

“Unlike what’s happening in the United States, this is your home,” the labor secretary, Amalia García, told deportees in the audience at a recent event for the city’s jobs programs.

For years, as the Obama administration sent back thousands of Mexicans each week — more than two million altogether — Mexico’s establishment barely reacted. All but invisible, the deportees were left to cope on their own with divided families, uncertain job prospects and the poverty that had pushed so many north in the first place.

Now, Mexican politicians are eagerly embracing them, portraying deportees as the embodiment of President Trump’s hostility toward their country and their people — even though deportations of Mexican citizens actually fell in the opening months of his term.



...But to some, the sudden rise in concern for migrants feels like political opportunism, taking advantage of the public fury over Mr. Trump before Mexico’s elections next year. “It’s promotional. It’s really self-serving,” said Nancy Landa, 36, who was pulled over by immigration agents in Los Angeles one morning in 2009 and, after 20 years in the United States, dumped across the border in Tijuana before nightfall — with only a cellphone and $20.

“Elections are coming in 2018, and if migration continues to be an issue, they’re going to use migrants as a political flag,” she added.

Read the rest at The New York Times

Related: Deported to Mexico: Who Is the US Kicking Out? (CNN)

Related: After Decades in America, the Newly Deported Return to a Mexico They Barely Recognize (The Washington Post)


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