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DREAMers Moms Tijuana – Yolanda Varona

In 2011, Yolanda Varona was unexpectedly separated from her children at the end of a trip across the border.  She was deported to Mexico.

As Varona found ways to connect with her children and worked toward being with them again, she helped other deported mothers to find services and resources.  Varona became the Founder and Director of DREAMers Moms in Tijuana, Mexico, as many of the women, Varona worked with were mothers of children with US citizenship or qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), otherwise known as DREAMers.

In 2019, Mari McMenamin, Dana Schuerholz and I traveled to San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico to cover border stories and listened to Varona’s story of deportation and efforts to connect with her daughter. 

Producers: Mari McMenamin, Laura Florez. Special thanks to Magdaleno Rose-Avila of Building Bridges for inspiring us to pick up this story and for connecting us to the speakers.

Photos: Dana Schuerholz, Mari McMenamin