Born in the United States, But Struggling to Acclimate in Mexico
Amy Isackson - NPR.org
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November 28, 2013
Listen: About 300,000 children born in the U.S. are now living in Mexico because their parents were deported or headed south when jobs here dried up. For many of these kids, adapting to life and school in Mexico is a struggle. Amy Isackson reports on an after-school program that aims to help these children adjust and perhaps someday return to the U.S.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 300,000 U.S.-born children moved to Mexico between 2005 and 2010. They automatically became U.S. citizens by being born in the U.S., which gives them the option of returning in the future.
For now, some have landed in the Mexican state of Baja California. There are schools that won't even accept the kids, even though it's illegal to turn them away.
School officials know that accepting the U.S.-born kids can mean extra work, and schools are already overburdened. They have no programs in place to help these kids learn Spanish.
Yara Lopez runs the Baja California Education Department's office that helps migrant students. It's a one-woman shop.
"The challenge for these kids is that they're Mexican but they don't feel Mexican," says Lopez. "They don't know Mexico. And they don't know what awaits them in Mexico."
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