Even though they no longer live in the United States, “dreamers” who have returned to Mexico are on edge because of the presidential elections, since a re-election of Donald Trump would further complicate the lives of their relatives as well as the expectations of one day returning to that country.
The young people who arrived irregularly in the United States as children have been affected by Trump’s decision, pending the Supreme Court’s verdict, to cancel the Deferred Action Program (DACA), a temporary immigration injunction that allows them to study and work legally.
Efe has contacted four “dreamers” who were either deported or returned to Mexico and who are expressing their fears and political preferences towards Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, whom they consider the closest to migrants.
– ISRAEL CONCHA (Mexico City, 38 years old): “Trump uses migrants as bait to get his re-election”
For 34 years he lived in Texas, where he founded a transportation company, but it all came to a halt one day when he was speeding. He was arrested and, being undocumented, began a long deportation process for which he was locked up in an immigration center for two years.
“We are dealing with a president who uses migrant families as bait and chess pieces to get his reelection,” criticizes the founder of New Beginnings, an organization that supports Mexicans who have been deported and returned from the United States.
Israel, who was kidnapped on his first day in Mexico, regrets that there is a “great possibility” that Trump will be re-elected on November 3 because of the good progress of the economy, so he wants “to see on the Democratic side someone strong who can compete.
“Unfortunately, families continue to be separated and minors continue to be detained,” says the activist, whose son, still in the United States, was born while facing deportation and the judge did not let him say goodbye to him.
Although he was deported in 2014, under Barack Obama, Israel believes that Trump is worse because “he tells the world that it is okay to discriminate” and predicts that “if he is re-elected he will continue the hunt against our community”.
– CHANTAL LÓPEZ (Acapulco, 29): “If Latinos don’t vote, Trump will be re-elected.
It’s only been four months since Chantal Lopez arrived in Mexico from California, where she moved at age 10 with her family because of the lack of employment resulting from the violence and the decline in tourism in Acapulco.
She is not 100 percent fluent in Spanish, but is more comfortable in her new home than in the United States. “I feel more relaxed and calm in Mexico because I’m not worried about being found and deported,” she confesses.
With a degree in Ethnic Studies, she returned to her native country because she wanted to practice her profession instead of “working forever in a restaurant.
Chantal has a clear preference for Bernie Sanders because she believes that “he’s very interested in helping people who don’t have many resources.
She fears that Trump will win the election, which could affect her sister in the United States, whose DACA is due to expire soon.
“I wish Trump didn’t win because he has very racist views and only wants to help the rich,” says Chantal, who has the bad omen that “if the Latino people don’t vote, it’s going to be very difficult for Trump not to be re-elected.
– MAURICIO LÓPEZ (Mexico City, 25 years old): “The United States is nothing without immigrants.
At the age of three, Mauricio Lopez arrived with his mother in North Carolina, where his stepfather lived. In 2017, he returned to Mexico after his DACA was defeated and after living through the drama of his brother’s deportation.
This young man, who now teaches English in the Mexican capital, still remembers the surprise of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, and regrets that the Republican has brought to light “the hidden feelings” that many people had against migrants.
“It is sad that many people I worked with had the idea that we are criminals, ‘bad men’. That’s when I decided to leave, because in this country they don’t want me and I have no opportunities,” she explains.
For him, Sanders is the ideal candidate because “he has a lot of ideas for migrants” and he is clear that the country is a powerhouse because of migration. “The United States is nothing without immigrants,” says Mauricio.
This young man, who aspires to return to the United States one day, strongly defends that the country needs “a president who appreciates migration and knows why we are migrating,” while the Latino community must unite to be “stronger” in the face of the government.
– ITZEL ESTÉVEZ, (Puebla, 27 years old): “Americans should educate themselves more about Mexico”
It wasn’t easy for Itzel Estévez to return to Mexico in 2010 from California, where she grew up at the age of six. But as an irregular migrant, her career options in the United States were “very limited” and she didn’t want her only option to be married and have children.
Itzel reveals that his relatives, who stayed in California, “are a little afraid of the new election” because of the possibility of Trump winning again, as some are “fixing their papers.
“I wouldn’t want Trump to be re-elected,” says this young woman forcefully, who believes that “Americans should educate themselves more about Mexico” to better understand the immigration phenomenon and why half of the undocumented people in the United States are Mexican.
Itzel recalls that, unlike the image that is held in U.S. territory, the migration of Mexicans to the United States “has dropped a lot” and little by little “job opportunities” are growing in Mexico.
Itzel would like to see a political change in Washington since “the Democratic Party supports migrants a little more,” although his main wish is that his family will return to Mexico one day.