In Mexicali, a haven for broken lives: The once-grand El Hotel Centenario is now the decrepit El Hotel del Migrante Deportado — the Hotel of the Deported Migrant. It hosts a procession of lost souls.
They blame America for exploiting their labor, then discarding them. But they also are haunted by their mistakes, accomplices to their own downfall.
The U.S. offered me opportunities, and I blew it.
We’re here for being reckless.
I lost everything because of my stupid mistake.
My wife warned me: You shouldn’t be drinking and driving.
Honestly, the American dream is over.
A 39-year-old former day laborer dedicates a prayer to his teenage son in the San Fernando Valley: “For our families who lack food because of our absence, we pray that we are reunited one day.”
Photo: Christian Rivera, 25, sobs during a breakfast blessing at the Hotel of the Deported Migrant. He said he was crying because his wife called this morning to say she had lost her job at a Wal-Mart in Seattle. Now there’s no income for her and their 7-year-old son. Rivera was deported for failure to pay court fees for a traffic ticket and deported again when he tried to sneak back into the U.S. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times