Life After Deportation: Mothers Separated By Borders

These women are among the millions of mothers who have been deported from the United States. They had no criminal record, but they ended up in the border city of Tijuana, seperated from their children for years to come. Now they’re sharing their life after deportation.

Yolanda Varona lived in the United States for almost 18 years, before she found herself in Mexico again, without her family and without a dime in her pocket. She was escaping physical and emotional violence from her ex-husband in Mexico and just wanted a new life. But on New Year’s Eve 2010, her mother-in-law asked her to drive her to the border. That experience with the border lead to her deportation.

Monserrrat Godoy got married and her husband’s family lived in the states, so they decided to move there to have a better life. She was also a victim of domestic abuse — it got so bad at one point, her husband pointed a gun at her head and said he would kill her if she didn’t leave the country. Because of her fear and lack of info, she voluntarily went back to Mexico. Because her daughters were struggling in school, she legally sent them back to the states to stay with their father and tried to cross illegally herself, and was caught.

While living in the U.S. Emma Sanchez fell in love with a U.S. Marine, they got legally married and started a family. Though she was in the U.S. for six years, she couldn’t get legal documents. She tried to get help at a border check point, but once she was there, they said she couldn’t return to the country.