For decades, communities of undocumented immigrants have been shrouded in poverty and institutional neglect. Their migratory status—sometimes an imposed condition, as is the case with children brought to the United States—condemns immigrants to a life in the shadows.
In this interview at the University Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City, deported persons shared what it’s like to have to leave the country, what it’s like to be recruited in a gang, and what it’s like to adapt to Mexico having lived an entire life in the USA. They shared their stories and the stories of their mothers, sisters, and friends back home. Please give it a listen.
María Cristina Hall is a Mexican-American poet with a a bachelor’s in creative writing and political science from Columbia University and a master’s in translation studies from Pompeu Fabra University. A Catalan and Spanish translator, she writes poetry and is currently a professor of English at the Tec de Monterrey in Mexico City. Some of her work can be found in Apogee Journal, New Poetry, Leveler, The Fem, and Registro MX. She writes the daily newsletter El Godín.
Alina Bitran has a BA with honors in Public Policy Studies with a specialization in immigration and Latin American policy from the University of Chicago, where she earned a recognition for the best graduating thesis in the department. During the past two summers, Alina interned at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), respectively. At NIJC, Alina helped provide legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children in detention shelters across Chicago. Alina also served as the Co-President of STARS, a community service organization in Chicago that provides English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring to immigrant elementary school children in the community. Alina is currently an analyst at Fundación IDEA, a leading public policy think tank in Mexico.