Luz María Hernández gazes blankly across the shaded courtyard, clutching a cellphone in one hand and a sodden handkerchief in the other. Less than 48 hours ago, Hernández, 45, was deported to Tijuana after 25 years as an undocumented migrant in southern California. Her five children, aged three to 23, were born in California, and they now have to live without their mother.

Minutes before being escorted to the border, US immigration agents informed her that she was banned from entering the US for 10 years.

Deported people´s life at Mexico border
Prototypes of the wall are seen on the US side of the border. In the Mexican side of Otay, the carcass of a burned vehicle lays where drug-violence has led more than a thousand dead people just in 2017. Photograph: Prometeo Lucero for the Guardian

-> Published in The Guardian | By Nina Lakhani in Tijuana, Baja California / photos: Prometeo Lucero

This piece was co-commissioned by Itzel Guille and Guardian editors for We’re Here To Stay. A series edited by Dreamers — young immigrants who arrived in the US as children, and who are now in danger of losing their right to stay here legall