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Crossing South: A Guide for People Returning to Mexico

Crossing South: A Guide for People Returning to Mexico

Photo: AFSC


You and your family may be faced with the possibility of returning, either voluntarily or due to deportation, to the country of your birth.  If you are facing this possibility, you should plan ahead so that the process can be as simple and safe as possible for you and your family.


  • You may have to get your ankle monitor removed prior to departure
  • You may be handcuffed and shackled at the ankles
  • Your possessions may not be intact or returned to you at all.
  • You may experience dehumanizing behavior from ICE officials, if you can remember their name or can get their badge number, it could be helpful in the future or for others.*

*ICE does not respect your human dignity, but we do and others you will find in Mexico through this list will treat you well and provide you with as much support as they can.


Breathe. Know that your family and community are holding you in their thoughts and prayers and it is your own inner strength that will get you through this difficult transition.  To stay safe, make a friend on the bus or plane, stick together to support each other. Be alert and calm, blend in and comply with authority. Avoid casual street encounters, including eye contact. Be prepared for bribes, have $40-100 in cash in $10s & $20s kept in different pockets. Beware of criminal elements, don’t use an offered cell phone to call your family. Have contact information for your family in Mexico and all documents that prove your identity and deportation status on you, not in your bag.

  • You have rights and access to resources in Mexico as a Mexican citizen and there are programs specifically for people who return. However, accessing these government services requires certain documentation for adults and minor children.
    • Programa de Repatriación are services that can be found at many ports of entry. Including food and water, shelter, medical and psychological attention, information, transportation, reentry registration, CURP
    • Documents you may need to access these services include:
      • Your deportation order
      • Get a Constancia de Recepción at the INM (National Institute of Migration) offices
      • Identity Documents:  CURP and INE
        • If you or your kids have dual citizenship
          • U.S. citizen children:
            • Long-form U.S. birth certificate (original) or an apostillada at the office of Vital Records where it was issued within the past year. Must be translated by an expert translator in Mexico.
  • Receiving money in Mexico
    • Telecomm will accept (one time) the Constancia de Recepción as an identity document and pay you the full amount of money that was sent to you.
    • Some banks also allow you to open an account online and transfer money from one bank to another for free.