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.

 

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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

Continue reading

Voices of the Deported

In the past three years, I have spoken to several media outlets who have taken an interest in my deportation story. I have lost count. But recently, I was outreached by Aljazeera’s The Stream to join other deportees and this was certainly a new experience. I ended up being a part of a unique platform that connected many voices, expanding beyond the Mexican deportee experience – from El Salvador to Cambodia.

Thirty-five minutes are hardly enough to engage in an in-depth conversation about a complex experience, but we do what we can in the allotted space. I was particularly interested in hearing from perspectives from El Salvador, but I was quickly disappointed by Eddie. Not only does he feed into the criminalization discourse that justifies our deportation – that being undocumented should make you a criminal. The worst part is hearing this from someone who himself has experienced removal. But then again, he hardly represents the stories of many from his country who are fleeing violence and looking for a dignified life somewhere else. Thank goodness for Hector Barajas from Deported Veterans, whose story demonstrates the cruelty of deportation policies – he will not be able to go back to the U.S. until he dies, when he will brought back in a casket to receive a proper U.S. burial in a national cemetery. I really hope he is able to return to his family before that happens.

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On The Stream, with Hector Barajas

 

I will say no more, you know my views. Now on to let you have your own opinions about it.

On a final note, I also would like to invite you (assuming your not a hater) to post your comment on the show’s Youtube link. It is disheartening to have to read comments that are mostly hateful and ignorant. I know that is not what the majority in the US think about us – they are just a loud minority that don’t have anything better than to propagate hate and xenophobia. Till next time!