Los otros “Dreamers”

Hay mucho que ha sucedido desde mi segundo retorno a México después de irme a estudiar al extranjero; desde conducir entrevistas con Dreamers radicando en México hasta participar en foros públicos para compartir testimonios de retorno por parte del proyecto de Los Otros Dreamers, The Book. Dentro de todo esto, nos encontramos con una delegación de “DACAmented” Dreamers que visitaron México, que se dieron a conocer como los #DREAMersEnMexico a pesar de que ya los Dreamers en México hemos estado aquí desde hace años después de un retorno forzado.

Eileen Truax nos relata un poco acerca de este encuentro entre los Dreamers de los dos lados de la frontera. Mucho a surgido desde entonces que lo seguiré relatando a futuro. Aunque este encuentro no fue la ocasión ideal para forjar diálogo entre los Dreamers que se encuentran en ambos lados de la frontera, es un comienzo para empezar a romper las barreras que separan nuestros esfuerzos y dirigirnos a un movimiento que requiere ser transnacional.

LOD

Para el gobierno de México hay activistas de primera y de segunda. La semana pasada, 40 dreamers fueron invitados por la administración de Enrique Peña Nieto para que visitaran México, su país natal. Sin embargo, la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores “olvidó” convidar a otros dreamers: muchachos deportados que, desde este país, buscan lo mismo que los agasajados: entrar y salir de las dos naciones que consideran suyas.

El 28 de septiembre Nancy Landa ingresó junto con otros 40 jóvenes al edificio de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), en la avenida Juárez de la Ciudad de México, para celebrar un encuentro con el canciller José Antonio Meade. Como los demás chicos, Nancy nació en México, pero también es estadunidense. Pasó la mayor parte de su vida en aquel país, a donde llegó indocumentada cuando era menor de edad. Y como los demás, hoy está de vuelta en su patria natal…

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A ‘return’ home: My visit to CSUN via Skype

I recently had the opportunity to visit my Alma mater, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for the first time after my deportation in 2009. Although my visit was only a virtual one since I cannot physically return to the U.S. (for the now), it was a very special moment. I joined Jill Anderson and Nin Solis in presenting the forthcoming Los Otros Dreamers, The Book.

Photo Credit: Dr. Jessica Retis
Photo Credit: Dr. Jessica Retis

My story is one of 26 testimonios featured in this book project which provides an avenue for returnees like me to ‘share what is like to be rejected in one home [United States] only to feel homeless in another [Mexico]’. The stories counteract public discourse which makes the struggles we face upon return invisible. Most believe that we are returning to our country of nationality, to our ‘home’. But many of us can barely call home a place we have not lived most of our lives.

In my case, my home continues to be the U.S. and when I was addressing the audience at CSUN (including people I knew while I was there), I felt I was back at home; remembering my time there as a student, my fondest memories of belonging to a community that witnessed my personal, professional, and educational growth.

 

Latina Lista featured a commentary of the event with a link to the recorded presentation.  Hope you take a moment to watch it.

Click Here for the Storify (thank you Alex Corey).

Thank you CSUN for providing us this opportunity. I keep you close to my heart.

 


Authors of ‘Los Otros DREAMers’ share stories of deported youth in Mexico at campus event

May 6 2014 | Published by LatinaLista

Anyone who has heard coverage of immigration reform over the last few years has also learned about the efforts of DREAMers, young undocumented students who were brought here to the U.S. as children and now find themselves in a social, civic and political limbo.

Yet, what not many people on this side of the border realize is that there are DREAMers south of the border too. They are the ones who got caught up in the nation’s over zealous attempts to enforce immigration law and were deported. They are young people who were educated in the United States, and had little or no ties to their birthplaces.

These DREAMers are known as Los Otros Dreamers and are the subject of a new book by Jill Anderson and Nin Solis.

On April 25, 2014, the two authors appeared on the campus of California State University Northridge (CSUN) to talk about the young deportees they met in the course of researching their book and an ongoing campaign on behalf of los otros dreamers.

At the event, the authors were joined via Skype by one well-known DREAMer, Nancy Landa, who just happens to be a former student body president of CSUN and now finds herself pursuing a graduate degree in London after spending several years in Tijuana after her 2009 deportation. (Editor’s Note: Nancy Landa is also a long-time Latina Lista contributor.)

Los Otros Dreamers includes twenty-six testimonies, written in the preferred language of the contributor (English/Spanish/Spanglish) and then translated into English or Spanish. Three stories are also translated into indigenous languages. A full-page color portrait accompanies each testimonio, along with several photos of the homes, families and landscapes in which these Dreamers are navigating their return — Prof. Jose Luis Benavides, in a post for the CSUN Arts and Media website.

The featured video is a recording of the livestream of the campus event.

Otra Dreamer in London

Six weeks have passed since my move to London; the start of new journey, a new dream. It is the first time in my life that I made the conscious decision to migrate. I did not have that choice at the age of nine when I was brought into the U.S. as an irregular migrant child, nor did I choose to return to Mexico when I was deported four years ago.

The excitement still lingers alongside a sense of exploration as I am afforded certain level of freedom to be able to reside in a foreign country legally to pursue a graduate degree. It took overcoming very difficulty challenges, but I did not do it alone. An entire community supported me along the way to be here. It is a privilege that I do not take lightly as well as a responsibility to represent the collective challenges of migrants who have gone through similar experiences wherever I am.

There was a point that I began to feel a bit stressed shortly after my arrival, partly due to the insurmountably pressure I feel to do well in my graduate program. I had also underestimated the challenges of relocation. Although I navigate the English language and British culture with ease, the small things like learning to move around the city and finding where to purchase basic personal items at reasonable prices was incredibly stressful (after all, it is London).

Understanding the transport system in London Photo: Nancy Landa
Understanding the transport system
Photo: ©Mundo Citizen

Arriving alone in a new city and having to start a social network from scratch was overwhelming. But slowly, I have been able to find help along the way. Meeting new people that have became a support system (thank you hall buddies and classmates!!!) and having friends from abroad that had introduce me to their friends living here has helped make this transition smoother.  Now that I feel more stable, I hope to be able to keep my readers up-to-date on a regular basis with my experiences abroad.

October was a great month for visibility and exposure. The media continues to be interested in my story and that of Los Otros Dreamers. Take a look at the following articles recently published:

The IndependentThe Americans deported to a country they don’t know: ‘I didn’t know the city or the language’

CSUN Daily SundialDreamers continue to fight for immigration rights and reform

NPR Latino USALos Otros Dreamers

Published in Pocho.com on 4 Nov 2013