As the world has become increasingly interconnected, the movement of people across artificial national borders remains a contentious issue mitigated by politics, economics, unification/separation, xenophobia, and persecution. Issues of citizenship and belonging play out in local, national, and international policies, but also impact individuals at the most personal levels, often drastically changing the trajectories of their lives.
In this program, Tatyana Kleyn takes a closer look at the intersection of immigration policies between the U.S. and Mexico and their consequences on children and youth of returned Mexican immigrants. Many of the youth who find themselves (back) in Mexico have little to no familiarity with their (family’s) country of origin, may not speak Spanish or have only basic proficiency, and identify more as American than Mexican or Mexican-American.
Una Vida, Dos Países [One Life, Two Countries], a short documentary film, will be shown to explore the lives of diverse transborder children and youth in Mexico to illustrate the realities, challenges and opportunities they face living, studying, and adapting to life across two nations. The film focuses on building awareness and education about this growing subgroup of immigrants – some of whom are U.S.-born citizens – through a mix of personal stories, relevant facts, and statistics.
This presentation will begin with an overview of the presence and absence of policies that both push and pull people to cross borders — from the passing of NAFTA in 1993 to the absence of comprehensive immigration reform. Participants will then view the multilingual film (Spanish, English and Zapateco) — which will have Spanish and English subtitles – and partake in a discussion about key issues brought up in the film such as immigration policies, education, identity and language.