"We did it more for the children, they're all citizens," said Perez's daughter, Ofelia Ibarra, 28. "We couldn't risk their lives."
Makes your heart swell with American pride.That's one thing I love about all of this. I'm supposed to be super ultra patriotic and wave the flag and defend this great country and be forever grateful and thankful for the opportunity to be here, but also a chunk of the American population hates me because I speak Spanish and thinks I'll never be truly American because I wasn't born here but also I still need to be patriotic and suppourt are troopes.
But I think about those who are affected and I wonder what will happen to them. I wonder what would happen to me if I were one of them, as I so easily could be. What would I do now, at age 48, if I were deported to a country that I have not seen in more than 40 years and whose language I no longer speak? How would I work? How would I survive? In my case it would be a particularly pressing problem, given how critical I have been of Russia's current president. The risk of political persecution would be all too real for me -- as it is for "dreamers" who might be deported to repressive countries. And what would happen to my family -- to my partner, to my children, to my stepchildren? None of them are Russian. A move would be even more jarring for them than for me.
The result of all this hate-mongering is that for the first time, I no longer feel like a "real" American. I now feel like an outcast, a minority. I'm already a person without a party, having left the GOP after 30 years because of my opposition to Trump and all that he stands for. Increasingly I feel like a Jew, an immigrant, a Russian -- anything but a normal, mainstream American.That may be precisely what Trump and his most fervent supporters intend. They are redefining what it means to be an American. The old idea that anyone who embraces America's ideals can become an American is out. A White House aide has even repudiated the words on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Instead, American-ness is being redefined in blood-and-soil terms. I find myself increasingly forced to think of my ethnic identity instead of the national identity I adopted as a boy in 1976. That is discomfiting for me, and a tragedy for America.
Like an increasing number of children in Southern California, Elizabeth and her older sister, Stephanie, moved to Mexico because their parents had been deported, and educators on both sides of the border worry that even more American kids will leave the U.S. since President Trump has made strict immigration policy a cornerstone of his agenda.More and more families are hedging their bets, preferring to stay united in Mexico rather than be separated by international borders.Already, researchers and authorities estimate that between half a million and 800,000 American children have moved to Mexico since 2008 and most come from California.It's creating an education conundrum that strains the resources of the Mexican and U.S. governments.In Mexico, American-citizen children face an education system that isn't fully prepared for the influx of students, especially students who don't speak Spanish. And children who choose to stay in the U.S., separated from their parents who return to Mexico, are more likely to suffer from early-onset mental illness and behavioral problems. Both groups are likely to drop out of school altogether."With the new government in the U.S. there is a lot of speculation that there is going to be a massive exodus so that the Mexicans are going to get back to Mexico," said Mario Benitez Reyes, superintendent of schools in Tecate.
Children like Elizabeth are called "los invisibles," or the invisible ones. These students can slip through the Mexican education system largely unnoticed -- just one more Latino face in a sea of others staring back at the teacher -- but they face a steep learning curve when they arrive. Many speak little to no Spanish and feel isolated in school.The Mexican Education Department has an immersion program called identify primarily American students and help them assimilate to Mexican schools, but it's expensive to hire teachers for the program, Benitez Reyes said, and resources are unevenly distributed across the country.