At age 19, Gilbert’s parents are deported back to Guatemala and he instantly becomes responsible for the household and for his 14-year old sister, all while staying on track with college. Having arrived illegally in the U.S. as a baby, Gilbert also has to manage his own deportation case and fight to stay in the country he calls home.
Samuel Mejia fled Guatemala in the midst of a civil war and had lived and worked in the U.S. for seventeen years before immigration agents raided his home. He worked as a carpenter in Marin County, and most recently, created concrete foundations for house boats that would eventually sell for millions of dollars.
Elida is the matriarch of the household and being separated from her children took a huge emotional toll. Before being deported, Elida cared for a 99 year-old woman at the end of life, as well as working as a nanny caring for a 2 year-old baby at the beginning of life.
Helen, age 14, was born in the U.S. and before the deportation was a straight-A student. After her parent’s were deported from the U.S., Helen struggles with depression, keeping up her grades, and navigating the vacuum of support that was taken away when her parents left.