Deported Americans Life after deportation to Mexico

Beth C. Caldwell, 1977-

Book - 2019

"Having interviewed over one hundred deportees and their families, Caldwell traces deportation's long-term consequences--such as depression, drug use, and homelessness--on both sides of the border. Showing how U.S. deportation law systematically fails to protect the rights of immigrants and their families, Caldwell challenges traditional notions of what it means to be an American and recommends legislative and judicial reforms to mitigate the injustices suffered by the millions of U.S.... citizens affected by deportation." -- Publisher's description

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Subjects
Published
Durham : Duke University Press 2019.
Language
English
Physical Description
xii, 232 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781478003601
147800360X
9781478003908
1478003901
Main Author
Beth C. Caldwell, 1977- (author)
  • In the shadow of due process
  • Return to a foreign land
  • Life after deportation
  • Deported by marriage
  • Children of deportees
  • Conclusion: Resistance and reforms.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Of the nearly three-million people deported during the Obama administration, more than 70-percent were Mexican nationals. Banished by the place they identify as home, deportees are alienated from both the country in which they were raised and the one in which they were born. Focusing on migrants who arrived as young children and became part of American society, Caldwell delineates the effect forced removal had on their lives. Expecting to have the right to appeal in front of a judge, many were shocked by the lack of due process in immigration cases and the policies making it impossible to stay an order of deportation. Often banned for life, deportees lacking familiarity with Mexican culture, language, and social infrastructure face great adversity in establishing themselves there. Seeing no other option, some take great risks to return to the U.S., viewing possible prison time as an acceptable alternative to being separated from their families. By telling their stories, Caldwell humanizes the crises these individuals endure, including those of spouses and children who face the decision of having to leave everything they know behind to be with their exiled loved ones. A stark portrayal of the contradictory, misguided, and ineffectual immigration laws that determine the futures of so many. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this accessible and eye-opening work, Caldwell, a legal scholar and former public defender, sheds light on the plight of longtime residents of the U.S. who have been deported to Mexico. From 2009 to 2013, she writes, the U.S. deported close to 1.5 million people with either American-born children, American citizen spouses, or both, as well as deportees brought into the country as young children and raised in the U.S., people who had U.S. green cards or driver's licenses, served in the American military, and/or spent 15­–20 years paying taxes and functioning as Americans. Deportees were routinely taken to Mexico and left with few to no possessions, legal forms of identification, or employment options, and with little or no ability to speak Spanish. Drawing on 100 interviews, Caldwell relates various individuals' and families' struggles to adjust after forced relocations. Some live homeless along the border, forming camps of marginalized individuals without a country; others have family members who give up many of their own citizenship rights to join them in Mexico. She challenges the U.S. government to allow deportation judges more freedom to weigh the harm deportation will cause, and to create a legal path for deportees to return to the U.S. Caldwell's extensive research, astute legal analysis, and readable prose make this a layperson-friendly introduction to a thorny problem. (Apr.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When Gina was deported to Tijuana, Mexico, in 2011, she left behind her parents, siblings, and children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. Despite having once had a green card, Gina was removed from the only country she had ever known. In Deported Americans legal scholar and former public defender Beth C. Caldwell tells Gina's story alongside those of dozens of other Dreamers, who are among the hundreds of thousands who have been deported to Mexico in recent years. Many of them had lawful status, held green cards, or served in the U.S. military. Now, they have been banished, many with no hope of lawfully returning. Having interviewed over one hundred deportees and their families, Caldwell traces deportation's long-term consequences—such as depression, drug use, and homelessness—on both sides of the border. Showing how U.S. deportation law systematically fails to protect the rights of immigrants and their families, Caldwell challenges traditional notions of what it means to be an American and recommends legislative and judicial reforms to mitigate the injustices suffered by the millions of U.S. citizens affected by deportation.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Legal scholar and former public defender Beth C. Caldwell tells the story of dozens of immigrants who were deported from the United States—the only country they have ever known—to Mexico, tracking the harmful consequences of deportation for those on both sides of the border.