Mexico

Jocelyn Casanova
Courtesy of Jocelyn Casanova

Joceyln Casanova grew up in North Carolina and was a high achiever who dreamed of going to college and becoming a lawyer. A few days before she graduated from high school near the top of her class, a college interviewer revealed a secret her parents had kept from her her whole life: Jocelyn was undocumented. 

Nin Solis

Hundreds of thousands of individuals move to Mexico from the United States each year. This number includes both those who are deported and those who choose to return. Many of those individuals spent their formative years in the United States and experience distinct challenges upon return to Mexico, including extreme culture shock, depression and mental illness, and barriers to accessing employment and education in Mexico.

Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza speaking at a protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Raleigh.
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

UPDATE: Immigration officials in Charlotte have delayed the deportation order for Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza until a federal appeals court renders a decision on his asylum case. 

Mexican-born Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza is asking for asylum in the United States. He says he faces harassment if he is forced to return to Mexico because he is openly gay. Last time he was in Mexico, Molina Mendoza says he and a former boyfriend were attacked with beer bottles because of their sexual orientation.

Photo of Claudia Ruíz Massieu and North Carolina legislators
Consulado General de Mexico en Raleigh

More than 35 million of the nation’s immigrant population comes from neighboring Mexico.

And America’s relationship with Mexico is at the top of political headlines, particularly when the GOP presidential candidate advocates building a wall along the 2,000 mile border.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruíz Massieu.

Image of the agave plant, used in tequila production
Amante Darmanin / Flickr Creative Commons

In the early 2000s, a shortage of the agave plant used to make tequila prompted producers to partner with Mexican farmers in an effort to harvest more crops. But those agreements heavily favored tequila companies and have had lasting impacts on small farms. 

Immigrants’ rights vigil in Marshall Park, Charlotte, May 1, 2006.
Rosario Machicao / La Noticia, Charlotte

Waves of Mexican immigration to the United States date back to the turn of the 20th century. At the start of the Mexican Revolution, groups of Mexicans moved to the U.S. They quickly became an important part of the blue-collar work force. Though some communities welcomed them, others did not.

An image of a man protesting in Durham
Ivan Almonte

Mexico is thousands of miles away from North Carolina, but Victoria Bouloubasis said she felt like she was there when a friend showed her a video from his phone.

“I am in a Mexican restaurant in Durham and looking at this tiny screen of a video of police brutality in rural Mexico,” Bouloubasis said.

“It was crazy because somebody took the video on their smartphone, put it on Facebook and to see something completely barbaric by the police you had to wonder about the parallels happening in the States.”

Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1996 – Marisol daydreams at dusk while anticipating the arrival of more garbage trucks at the municipal dump
Janet Jarman

Immigration has taken center stage this week with President Obama's announcement of protection for some  children and families who entered the country illegally. In North Carolina, some area teachers have recently been trained to better understand the experience of such undocumented immigrants. The training is based on an extraordinary set of photos, taken over two decades, on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border.

WUNC's Carol Jackson tells the story:

Javier Diaz de Leon
Consulado General de Mexico en Raleigh

    

Nearly 30 percent of immigrants in the United States are from Mexico, but migration between the two countries is changing. A study from the Pew Research Center indicates this country is at the tail end of the largest wave of immigration in American history.

And in North Carolina, more families are permanently relocating here rather than traveling for temporary work.

Charlie Thompson

From 1942-1964 about five million Mexican guest workers were brought to the United States as part of a federal program to help with the post-war labor shortage.