Tijuana, Mexico, is a limbo for deportees from the United States. People keep showing up in the city while U.S. immigration policies get tougher. Between 2002 and 2012, deportations to Mexico more than doubled, from 122,058 to 306,870, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Many were deported for non-violent or relatively minor infractions. In many cases, these deportees are returned to a country where they might have been born but know little about as adults. They might speak little or no Spanish, and are further seen as pariahs for sporting gang tattoos.
Opportunities for work in Tijuana remain limited for such deportees, except in a sector that is enjoying a boom period in Mexico, telemarketing. Call centers offer English-speaking deportees a chance to have a steady income in jobs-strapped Mexico. They also get to put their language skills to use. Telemarketers gain a geographically close work-force of English native-speakers, but at Mexican labor costs.
VICE News traveled to Tijuana to meet a few of the thousands of deportees who were raised in the United States and are now forming new lives back in Mexico, thanks to their steady jobs at a U.S. call center.