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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:47 AM

American Children, Now Struggling to Adjust to Life in Mexico

IZÚCAR DE MATAMOROS, Mexico — Jeffrey Isidoro sat near the door of his fifth-grade classroom here in central Mexico, staring outside through designer glasses that, like his Nike sneakers and Nike backpack, signaled a life lived almost entirely in the United States. His parents are at home in Mexico. Jeffrey is lost.

When his teacher asked in Spanish how dolphins communicate, a boy next to him reached over to underline the right answer. When it was Jeffrey’s turn to read, his classmates laughed and shouted “en inglés, en inglés” — causing Jeffrey to blush.

“Houston is home,” Jeffrey said during recess, in English. “The houses and stuff here, it’s all a little strange. I feel, like, uncomfortable.”

Never before has Mexico seen so many American Jeffreys, Jennifers and Aidens in its classrooms. The wave of deportations in the past few years, along with tougher state laws and persistent unemployment, have all created a mass exodus of Mexican parents who are leaving with their American sons and daughters.


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Reply American Children, Now Struggling to Adjust to Life in Mexico (Original post)
groovedaddy Jun 2012 OP
marybourg Jun 2012 #1
Igel Jun 2012 #2

Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:47 PM

1. Very moving.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 04:15 PM

2. Used to it.

Every year I've had students in my class--in high school--that were classed as beginning English-language learners.

They were brought here, they don't fit in, their American-born peers (even if they are heritage speakers of Spanish) tend to look down on them. They're out of touch as far as educational norms go and struggle with the culture and the language.

They tend to have a higher-dropout rate and much lower averages than most kids, simply because, well, they don't speak the language of instruction. (I've been in immersion classes in other countries, and that involved attending lectures. You listen to a history lecture and don't know the words, it doesn't do you a whole lot of good--even if the teacher knows you're not a native speaker and goes slow.)

It's one of the injustices visited on children by immigrant parents.

What's funny is that somehow we assume the crimes they inflict on their kids by immigrating to the US are our responsibility--we certainly have to do something about it--and the article in the OP seems to think we are also responsible for the crimes they inflict on the kids by emigrating from the US. (Constant refrain: If it's a problem we probably caused it; and even if we didn't, it's our responsibility to rectify it.)

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