Two academics have conducted a research, compilation, and documentation of the true experience of deported citizens.
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The biggest risk in times of division, hatred, and exclusion is to transform the victims into a number that’s constantly increasing, erasing the testimonies and taking with them a story that the headlines can barely summarize.
Such is the case of the hundreds of individuals deported from the United States, who have suffered in silence the separation of their families, abuse, and neglect.
But for the researchers, Robert Irwin (University of California) and Guillermo Alonso Meneses (Colegio de la Frontera Norte), each of the stories deserve to be told.
Through their "Humanizando la Deportación / Humanizing Deportation" project, both researchers intend to give a voice "to the people who have faced the ravages of deportation," according to the Mexican newspaper Reforma (in Spanish).
Through five-minute videos, these researchers have highlighted the absence of "testimonial information on the experience of dehumanized deportation."
"This project highlights a range of humanitarian problems that have been generated by the massive displacement of human beings as a consequence of their management on both sides of the Mexican-American border," explained Irwin during an event at the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT).
The team of researchers has made the documentary product available to all users through its website, with the clear intention of "producing a public archive with open access, on the personal histories of deportation", taking distance from a political debate that "tends to be driven by statistics, with little attention to human experience."
Meneses also explained that the stories were collected in Tijuana, and one of its most immediate objectives is to offer immigrants who are still in the United States "protection mechanisms and information on how to get help when reintegrating to the Mexican dynamic."