This is my first story for National Geographic online — on the large numbers of deportees who end up staying in Tijuana, the city that they and their parents first crossed through years ago with such optimism on the way to a better life.
These men are everywhere in the city. You see them wandering, with ball caps and small backpacks. Most are undocumented in the country of their birth, as they’ve lost, or never had, birth certificates, Social Security cards and the like.
For Tijuana, though, the question is, how does a town that lived from the energy of people passing through to a better life absorb tens of thousands of men returning traumatized, depressed, beaten.
A timely topic given the president’s speech last night.
The piece contains fabulous photographs by Eros Hoagland. (The shots on this post are mine.)