As some Dreamers feel less welcome in the U.S., Mexico is making a play to attract them back. A small delegation from Mexico recently visited Seattle to meet with local officials, advocates and undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
One woman named Ruby came to the meeting, curious. She’s lived in the Seattle area for 20 years and has never seen the Mexican government so interested in migrants like her. She wanted to know more.
Ruby: “How can they support us here, or if we get deported, or if we decide to go back? How we can feel welcome back in our country?”
We’re using Ruby’s middle name because her legal status here is temporary through the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Eunice Rendon is with Agenda Migrante, the Mexico-based NGO that organized the forum. She says the goal is to support Dreamers like Ruby who left Mexico as children.
Rendon: "A lot of people are very happy having them back in Mexico. I think that also for the states, they are very powerful resources. So I think that both countries can profit and can take advantage of these kind of young people who understand very well the migration phenomenon."
Rendon said Agenda Migrante started in 2017 in response President Trump's election and political changes that affected Mexican migrants in the U.S. The group has also held forums with dreamers in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Phoenix.
Seattle's meeting included the director from Mexico's federal office for youth (Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud), the Mexican Consul in Seattle, a former attorney general from Mexico and representatives from the University of Washington and city of Seattle.
They discussed how to make it easier to transfer school and job credentials to Mexico. The panel also highlighted job opportunities in Mexico, especially in tech and aerospace, where employers are eager to hire workers with bilingual, bi-national experience.
Ruby was impressed.
Ruby: “I feel now more confident that if I go back to my country, I will be welcome and be able to continue my education or have a job.”
Ruby is in her 30s, a graduate of University of Washington Bothell, and a mother of three U.S. citizens. For her, the forum also rekindled a sense of Mexican identity.
Ruby: “For a very long time, I have been feeling oppressed showing my identity as Mexican. It’s just not very easy to celebrate being Mexican in America.”