Maria Peniche, 22, from Mexico City first came to Boston when she was just ten years old. She graduated from Revere high school in 2010 and went on to attend Pine Manor College. By 2012, paying the high price of tuition became too difficult, and she dropped out. Three days before DACA was announced, Maria left for Mexico to continue her schooling. "Here in Mexico you can only do one thing, either work or go to school," she said. Maria has had to put off her studies and work in order to provide for her family. Maria is coming home to provide for herself and her family, and pursue her education.
Adriana Gil Diaz, 22, from Mexico City, first came to Phoenix, Arizona when she was just four months old. Adriana graduated from Crestview Preparatory high school in 2010 with many accolades, including the Citizenship Award. To this day, two of her murals decorate its walls. Adriana left Phoenix three months before DACA was announced. She left because she was tired of living in fear under Arpaio, not knowing each night if her mom was going to come home.
Once in Nogales, Adriana tried to go to school. Because she lived so long in the US, Mexico recognized her as a foreign student and would not accept her US degree. Instead of going to school, Adriana has been working with migrants at the Juan Bosco shelter in Sonora. Adriana is coming home because she has no memories in Mexico. Her entire life was in Phoenix—she has memories of school, birthdays, going to prom—even her partner of four years lives in Phoenix.
Luis Gustavo Leon, 20, from Veracruz, Mexico has lived in North Carolina since he was 5-years old. Luis graduated from McDowell High School, he was in the top of his class and was a part of the AVID program. Luis left Marion, NC August of 2011 with the hopes of being able to finally go to school in Mexico. In June of 2012, when DACA was announced, Luis, not being able to stand being away from his family, tried to come home. Luis never made; he was caught by border patrol. The responding agent, feeling for him and his situation, attempted to file DACA, however it was rejected and Luis was deported. Desperate to come home, Luis attempted to re-enter 3 more times but was caught each time. Luis is coming home to be with his mom, 4 brothers and sister.
Claudia Amaro, 37, from Monterrey, Mexico moved to Colorado when she was thirteen years old. Her mother fled Mexico after Claudia's father was murdered and the family was threatened. In 2006, while living in Wichita, Kansas, Claudia's husband was detained while driving to work.. ICE detained Claudia while interpreting for her husband.
Living in Mexico has been hard for Claudia and her thirteen-year-old US citizen son. Finally, her mother gained legal status last year and was able to visit her grandson for the first time in seven years. Claudia is coming home to put the family back together that deportation tore apart.
Ceferino Santiago, 21, came to Lexington, Kentucky, at the age of thirteen in order to be with his older brother, Pedro. Ceferino is a permanent part of the Lexington community; he helped paint a mural at one of the local middle schools. During high-school, Ceferino ran for the school cross country team and was honored as one of the program's top student-athletes in 2010. After graduating from high school, Ceferino was forced to return to Oaxaca, Mexico because of an ear infection which required surgery that cost $21,000. Ceferino is coming home so he can be with his brother, his community, and to continue with his studies.