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!

 

Re-blogging: “Remind Yourself Of This As Often As You Need (And Me Too)”

I am sharing a post from a friend of mine with a bit of inspiration and a call for action in this post-US election mess. It is time for those of us post-deportation/return to figure out what we will do, because a Trump presidency will also affect those of us south of the border.

I’m calling on those of you who want to bring collective efforts together across borders. Part of what Azul says is that we need to stop thinking small, and that applies to how far movements reach.

From a Mexico perspective, we need to pressure for a government that stands for its people who will be affected by an police state with immigration policy. We already see it in the Mexico-Guatemala border which has been known to be the extension of the US-Mexico border approach.

Remember when the world let Hitler happen? Well, let’s learn from the past and let’s have urgency. Our lives, communities, countries and regions are at stake.

A guide to belonging everywhere

Y’all, what a time. Trump actually won the presidency. I cannot believe I typed that, but in this shitshow year of our Lord 2016, anything seems possible (provided it is the worst possible outcome). We can blame a lot of people- third party voters, people who weren’t fully on board, people who didn’t go for the lesser of two evils. This list could be long as hell, really, but that’s not the point.

The point is that people of color have been saying this has been such a racist place for such a long fucking time and now that most people’s humanities are being questioned (at the expense of so many lives) now y’all are listening. It has been this bad for a long ass time. Welcome to the fucking tragedy that is America. There are millions of people who voted for Trump and who would have voted for him…

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Speaking on the effects of immigration fraud

As time passes, I speak less about my deportation. Not because it matters less, not because I no longer wish to have justice being served. But as there continues to be no option for me to repair the damage, the only thing that there is left to do is to continue on with my current life path. Now that I am working on issues on the Mexico-Guatemala border with communities experiencing migration in conditions that I’ve never experienced even in my most difficult moments, I began to set aside my own past to focus on the work in front of me.

At the same time, I can’t help but remember that this month marks seven years since my deportation and interestingly, it coincided with a request to speak on how immigration fraud has affected my family and I. Most who know my story have mostly heard of my time as an undocumented migrant in the US, the deportation process and my life post-deportation. Rarely am I asked about the circumstances that led to it, and those implicated in a immigration fraud case who continue to be in business. While my family and I have paid the consequences, there are systems, policies and individuals who are benefiting from the precarious conditions that an undocumented status creates.

Through a video, I told my story to the LA County Board of supervisors who have recently approved the drafting of an ordinance that would take steps to prevent immigration scams. Certainly an overdue measure (definitely late for me) but hopefully of use to the many families that could be affected by those who seek to pray on them due to their legal limbo.

stop-notario-fraud

 

Con artists should not be able to prey on immigrant families like mine. Those who commit fraud and practice law without a license should not be able to remain in business for decades while people like myself pay the consequences.

I would like share the video that I recorded. I was told that the names I disclosed of the notario/attorney implicated in my case were taken out when the video was shared at the hearing due to concerns of defamation. However, the facts are facts, and they also need to come out at some point. Part of seeking justice is to name those responsable for placing my family and I in deportation proceedings. At the same time, let’s not forget there is an anti-immigration discourse and policies that are also responsable for enabling industries and individuals who profit and harm migrant communities.