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What Happens to Immigrants When They're Deported From the Only Homes They've Known?

Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She also holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

President Obama has broken the record for deporting undocumented immigrants from the United States. Nearly 2 million people have been repatriated, as the authorities call it, a term that fails to recognize the fact that many of these immigrants have spent their whole lives in America and are forced to leave behind their loved ones and any earthly belonging that doesn’t fit into the small plastic bag they’re allowed to take with them.

For those sent to Mexico, the life that awaits them across the border is often filled with strife, homelessness and violence. Though the risks are higher near the gate that keeps them out of their former home, many stay as close as they can to the border that serves as a reminder of what was once theirs and fills them with hope they will someday be able to return.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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