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November 26th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Mexicans feeling persecuted flee U.S.

By Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American Affairs Editor

Cananea, Mexico (CNN) - In a remote town in northern Mexico, a 10-year-old-boy is struggling with his homework. His name is Oscar Castellanos, and the fifth-grader is getting extra help from his father because he's having trouble adjusting to his new school.

The student enrolled at Leona Vicario Elementary in the town of Cananea is technically a foreigner in his father's land. Oscar was born in Arizona and is a U.S. citizen. He recites the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance by memory without hesitation. His English accent is that of a boy raised in the American Southwest.

Oscar's family moved back to Mexico after the state of Arizona approved some of the toughest immigration laws in the United States. Now they live in Cananea, a mining town of 30,000, about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

When asked whether it's been difficult to adjust to life in Mexico, his answer is "kind of." Pressed to elaborate, he adds that one of his main challenges is having "to speak another language."

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Oscar says he misses the abundance of books available to him in his American schools. In Mexico, textbooks are free, but finding additional reading material is often a challenge, especially in a provincial town that's a 23-hour drive from Mexico City.

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Filed under: How we live • Immigration • Latino in America • Where we live
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    People who qualify others as lesser citizens or non-citizens because they are different are nothing but ticks on the back of the serpent of social history. Every once in a while their ranks muster to the point where they become a nuisance or a danger and the rest of human society is forced to scrape them off. Thus it was with the Roman Empire, the nobility of medieval Europe, British Loyalists in the 13 colonies, the power elite of the Antebellum South, the Know Nothing gangs of New York, the Third Reich, the Soviets and the apartheid government of South Africa, among others.

    November 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. kathy

    Just being born in America shouldn't make you a citizen

    November 27, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    I'm actually Native American, so I could probably also tell you to get out.....

    November 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Gi Jon

      No just like the mexicans with sore butts we killed our way into what is now the us it doesn't matter who was here first

      November 27, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Denver_mike

      Sorry mike, native americans lost war after war with european settlers, to the victor goes the spoils, the billions of citizens tax dollars the natives receive is all you get now. Oh ya and casinos that out gross vegas.

      November 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |