NOGALES, Mexico -- On a recent Sunday morning, roughly 30 people squeezed into the Nogales living room of Adan Magdariaga. All were present for the house church service intended to bring together regular worshippers, recently arrived migrants, and humanitarian aid workers with whom Magdariaga has become friends.
Magdariaga was deported from the U.S. in January, following two years of detention in the Eloy Immigration Detention Center, a private prison-like facility run by the Corrections Corporation of America. He had been presented with the option of staying in that facility to continue fighting his immigration removal case, or to accept a deportation and work on the case from Mexico.
His decision found him returning to Mexico, a homeland he had not known since 1975, when he migrated to the United States as a teenager. Upon leaving the detention facility, he carried nothing but a few dollars in his pocket and the clear, plastic bag that held his belongings.