Over the past couple of years, the rise in deportations of immigrants without criminal records have separated thousands of Mexican migrant mothers from their children.
Left with little time or guidance about how to proceed, many of these deported mothers lose custody of their children left behind in the United States. This animated video features one mother’s personal experience to highlight the challenges of losing a child to family separation — and the tools that are at her disposal to get her child back.
The project team represented the Mexico City-based non profit Institute for Women in Migration (Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración), or IMUMI, which researches and defends the rights of Mexican migrant women and their families on both sides of the border.
“Were you recently deported?” the video narrator asks. “Did your children stay in the United States? Do you know what to do next?” Guadalupe did not. A native of Chiapas who lived in Arizona for eight years and earned a living doing housework, Guadalupe lost track of her son Hector after she was deported. She struggled to find the information necessary to get him back.
Eventually, she was able to fulfill the long list of requisites to regain custody: Proof of income, a psychological evaluation, therapy sessions, drug tests, parenting classes, a steady home, and a job. By highlighting Guadalupe’s story, IMUMI’s Migrahack challenge was to simplify the steps to be taken by a growing number of Mexican parents who are at risk of losing their children after a deportation.
The video is now featured on IMUMI’s website , and the nonprofit is using the project as an educational tool for its clients, migrant women. “Without a doubt, Migrahack exposed me to some tech programs that will help us, as an organization, to diversify the way in which we share our work and findings. But the event also introduced us to very creative people, potential collaborators, who have a better handle on technology than we do,” said Miriam González of IMUMI.
Team Imumi – Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración: Angélica Vásquez, Miriam Gonzalez, José Luis Rangel and Sandra Ordoñez.