At Risk of Extinction
Juan — I have been in Tijuana for 10 months since I was deported. I volunteer at the shelter. I guard the front door. I have seen people that have been deported from the United States, as well as people who have migrated from the south on their way north.
I have family in the United States, a young son. I’ve received a lifetime ban from re-entering. So, I’m here for the time being and, while I’m here, I’m taking classes [at the shelter] to complete my high school education. I’m also studying computers. I put together my first PowerPoint presentation on sea turtles who are at risk of extinction.
I’ve seen many people take root here, thinking at first that they will jump the fence soon after arriving but finding it too difficult to get across. They’ll start collecting cans, selling cardboard, cleaning car windows, or selling candies to make ends meet. Some start drinking or doing drugs or get caught up in the violence. They adapt to life on the streets and they get stuck here. Some make it, some don’t.