Deportee launching Kickstarter Campaign for documentary project “Aquí Estamos! Ya Regresamos!”

I take this opportunity to share a crowdfunding campaign spearheaded by Lalo Aguilar, a US deportee born in Juárez, raised in Utah and currently residing in Mexico. He is working on a documentary (now in pre-production) on the post-deportation and post-return experiences of Mexican undocumented immigrants raised in the U.S.

I only know Lalo from our virtual calls after connecting through social media (we are yet in meet in person), but I can tell Lalo is looking to continue to pursue his life goals despite deportation. This documentary is one of them.

In the past couple of years, there has been emerging coverage generated by various journalists, researchers and film producers on the subject; however, this is the first documentary project I have seen to be designed, developed and produced from a deportee’s perspective. It is one that highlights the fact that deportations have happened in mass prior to the Trump administration but have been invisible on both sides of the US-Mexico border. This project delves into an important inquiry:

There’s no doubting that the post-deportation topic has been on the spotlight in Mexico since Trump began his campaign by targeting Mexicans. But why did it take so long for Mexico to look into the returned migration phenomenon? Why weren’t the repatriated voices being heard until now?

I hope you take a look and support by donating and/or sharing.

From Lalo’s own words, I share his Facebook post (with his permission, posted on July 18, 2017) announcing the documentary project:

Hello Facebook friends, here in Mexico and back home! This is my first post in over 5 years, since I got deported; and it seems like it’s merely to ask you for money.. lol. No but really, I’ve enrolled in Film school in Puebla and I’ve started working on a feature documentary that is growing way too fast for my limited resources, so I launched a Kickstarter campaign. This film focuses on the returned bicultural identity; us that were born in Mexico and raised in the States but are now back in Mexico either because of deportation or “voluntary” return (that is almost always not so voluntary). It also focuses on the structural and cultural changes that are happening in Mexico because of our return.

I have friends from different cultural, economic, and social backgrounds here on FB; so if you are a part of this bicultural Mexican community whether now in Mexico or in the States and you know what’s happening to our community on either side of the border, please check our Kickstarter page. Please share it or donate IF you can. If you are a Trump supporter who doesn’t know or care about what’s happening to our community, it’s cool too, no hard feelings; do what you will with this info. Much love to ALL of you!

As you can see on my page, I’m not much about posting stuff on FB, but I strongly believe in this project and so do the BADASS people that are helping me accomplish it; so y’all be hearing some more from me now. I’m sorry if this causes anyone any inconveniences. Much love! Peace!

Ya Regresamos Kickstarter

For more on the Kickstarter campaign, visit:  Aquí Estamos! Ya Regresamos! (be sure to check-out the campaign video!)

Lalo will receive the funds raised only if he meets the crowdfunding goal (that is how Kickstarter works). To-date, he has raised 10% of the total funds needed. With your help, he will be closer to have the resources he needs to bring this documentary to life. The Kickstarter campaign closes August 22, 2017.

You can connect with Lalo via Twitter.

It’s been five years since…

Desplazar hacia abajo para español

It was five years ago that I wrote this letter addressed to Former President Obama, after he announced the Deferred for Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which leaves out millions of undocumented immigrants, including those of us who have been deported.

I just want to take the opportunity to remind my followers why this blog was started. Anything I could say about the demands I expressed on the letter would only be a regurgitation of what I have been saying about the deportee cause all along. You get tired of feeling that you don’t exist in the migrant rights conversation north of the border.

 

border-door.jpg

The closed door. Border Wall, Tijuana/San Diego (2017)

However, I have been encouraged by friends and colleagues I have met along the way to continue to tell my story which has found ways to spread in other platforms. My experience of deportation and a copy of the letter to Obama has been included in the book An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream by author and journalist Eileen Truax.

Thank you to those of you who have supported me along this journey. The struggle continues.

Link to letter: Dear Mr. President

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De frontera a frontera: La región sur me reorienta hacia el norte

A personal essay (Spanish) of my journey in the past year near the southern Mexican border, my criticism of Mexican civil society organizations working on migrants rights and the hypocrisy of advocacy efforts on both sides of the Mexico-US border.

Essay first appeared in El Nuevo Sol on April 6, 2017.

An updated translated version of essay published in Youth Circulations on July 24, 2017. 


Mex-Guate Border

En la frontera México-Guatemala, Lago Internacional (julio 2016)

¿K’uxi elan avo’onton? es una expresión que se usa para saludar dentro de las comunidades indígenas tsotsiles en Chiapas. Me explicaron que su traducción literal es “¿Cómo está tu corazón?” Ha sido una de las más lindas expresiones que he escuchado y que no llegué a pronunciar correctamente, pero me llenaba de felicidad cuando me respondían, “Lek oy”, “muy bien”. Lo que sí aprendí es que es más que una expresión. Representa otra manera de pensar. Desde este saludo se combate la superficialidad a la que nos hemos acostumbrado cuando nos preguntan: “¿Cómo estás?”, al cual la mayoría respondemos “bien”, de manera robótica, aunque en realidad no lo estemos.

La pregunta ¿K’uxi elan avo’onton? también es una invitación a la reflexión desde el corazón, porque no solo desde ahí se siente, también se piensa. Para yo poder responderla, tendría que volver a mirar hacia esa parte dentro mí que había hecho a un lado por mucho tiempo, porque era mejor no sentir el dolor causado por las rupturas que he sufrido a lo largo de mi vida como migrante. Pronto me di cuenta que no tenía certeza de en qué condición estaba mi corazón, ni si lo tenía intacto. ¿Habrá estado conmigo en los últimos 7 años que he estado en México o parte de él se habrá quedado en Los Ángeles, donde viví 20 años de mi vida antes de ser deportada?

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