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L.A. Now Live: Children of illegal immigrants in reverse migration

October 23, 2012 |  8:07 am

Thousands of U.S.-born children of former illegal immigrants now live in cities and towns across Mexico. Disoriented by cultural differences and often unable to speak the language, they often struggle, clinging to one another in a society that views them with a mix of envy and pity.

The Times' border reporter, Rich Marosi, will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss his series, Without a Country, and his most recent story about 13-year-old Luis, who was swept into the current of reverse migration after family members were deported.

Marosi writes:

Raised on Little Caesars pizzas and Big Gulps, Luis, 13, was portly. The village kids, subsisting on bowls of chicken broth, were all bones and elbows.

Luis wore Air Jordan high-tops. The kids wore sandals made of rubber tires.

He shot at birds with his BB gun and pedaled around on a Mongoose bike. They scurried up mango trees and chased iguanas.

He seemed like many visitors from America, with new clothes and good health, and the quiet confidence of someone who knew he wouldn't have to endure this place very long.

Then one day Luis and his step-grandfather, Juan Leyva, started standing up sheets of scrap metal on a treeless patch of dirt. They covered the jagged edges with cardboard, straightened the frame and slid corrugated metal sheets atop the walls, fastening it all together with electrical wire.

The teenager they had treated like a rich American cousin was going to live with his family in a shack, next to a chicken coop.

Read the full story: Caught in the current of reverse migration

Marosi will be answering questions live during the 9 a.m. chat.