The News
The News
Friday 20 of May 2022

Returning Migrant: from Loss in U.S. to Self-Employment in Mexico City


A Border Patrol agent walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, background, and San Diego in San Diego,photo: AP/Gregory Bull, File
A Border Patrol agent walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, background, and San Diego in San Diego,photo: AP/Gregory Bull, File
Despite wrongful arrest in El Salvador, José Adolfo has been given a new start thanks to Mexico City's Migrant Support Fund

José Adolfo was arrested in El Salvador for of human trafficking. Although 15 months later he was free after his arrest was proved a mistake, the doors to the United States were closed to him for good, the country where he had worked undocumented for 10 years. This led him to lose everything: family, resources, and goods.

Now, thanks to a credit granted through the Migrant Support Fund (FAM) of the Mexico City Social Development Secretariat, the returned migrant owns his business, “Burritolandia,” and also employs his uncle and niece.

“I was in the United States for 10 years, where I was with a Nicaraguan woman. One day I traveled to Nicaragua with my stepson and we passed through El Salvador. There they stopped me for no reason, just because I have tattoos. I was there for 15 months in prison,” says José, 43 years old.

“Salvadoran authorities eventually said I committed no crime, so I was allowed to leave prison, however, with it, I lost everything: my girlfriend, money and goods, and I came to Mexico City. Thanks to the support granted by Sederec (the Secretariat of Rural Development and Equality), I was able to open my business,” he says.

According to the institution, the program seeks to benefit migrant workers who return from the United States and aims to finance projects and activities for individuals or groups to find an occupation in the formal market.

Among the projects funded are kitchens, snack bars, internet cafes, and butchers.

That is the case of Jose Adolfo, who with the 25,000 pesos fund, installed his small business outside his parent’s house, in the Buena Vista neighborhood of the Álvaro Obregón borough.

The restaurant is fitted with tables, chairs and large umbrellas and sits on the street. He was given permission by the borough to do this.

During the 10 years that he lived in the United States, José Adolfo Navarrete Rojas, worked in half a dozen businesses that sold “American type burritos.”

“The support I received [from the local authorities] and the grace of God, was the starting point to restart a life in my country from which I left more than 12 years ago,” he said excitedly.

GUADALUPE VALLEJO MORA