The clothing brand's 'bad hombre' cloth bag. The clothing brand's 'bad hombre' cloth bag.

Deportees unite under a new clothing brand

Deportados Brand generates income for deportees with families in US

Five Mexicans deported from the United States have joined forces to create a clothing brand with a political message and a social purpose.

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Deportados Brand is the brainchild of deportees who were returned to their country of birth after spending much of their lives north of the border.

Now in Mexico City, the collective is designing and printing t-shirts and bags in a small screenprinting workshop in the neighborhood of Santa María la Ribera.

The group’s goal is clear: sell enough t-shirts so that they can reunite with their families who remain in the U.S.

“It’s more a social enterprise than a for-profit company,” Ana Laura López told the newspaper Milenio.  

She was deported near the end of former president Barrack Obama’s second term after having lived and worked in Chicago for 15 years.

Her two teenage sons remain in the U.S. but, in addition to her deportation, López was banned from returning for 20 years, meaning that she now faces the challenge of being a long-distance mom.

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Gustavo Lavariega is in a similar situation. He has two daughters in the United States but hasn’t seen them for a year. He hopes that the company grows so that he can save enough money to buy flights for them to come to Mexico to visit.

The end goal of seeing their families again provides the collective’s members with strong motivation to make a success of their new business, and their determined attitude is reflected in some of the phrases printed on their t-shirts.

Deportados, pero no derrotados,” or “Deported, but not defeated,” is one. “Chingones aquí y allá,” or “Awesome here and there,” and “The border crossed my life,” are others.

In another design, U.S. President Donald Trump makes an appearance wearing a sombrero emblazoned with two of his own most memorable words: “bad hombre.”

Others are even more political. “Defend DACA,” reads one design referencing the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals policy which currently faces an uncertain future.

Another of their slogans makes it perfectly — and forcefully — clear what their opinion is about Trump’s border wall proposal.

The company was formed as an offshoot of a deportees’ support network founded by López that aims to help deportees adjust to life back in Mexico.

The members of Deportados Unidos en la Lucha (Deportees United in the Fight) continue to meet recent deportees at the Mexico City airport, orient them in the city, find them a place to stay if needed and help them find a way to earn an income.

“We were selling candy in the street”, Lavariega said, recalling both his early days as a recent deportee and where the idea for the clothing line first came from.

In order to be more recognizable on the street, he explained, the deportee vendors got some t-shirts made and soon after people started asking whether they were selling them. In January 2017, the company started designing and making its first t-shirts.

The Mexico City Labor Secretariat offered its support to the initiative, lending the group screenprinting equipment for a year and will soon make a decision whether they will be able to keep the machinery on a permanent basis.

Apart from helping its members earn a living and edge closer to their dreams of being reunited with their families, the company’s profits from t-shirt sales also help support recently arrived deportees.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • Thomas Stump

    I love Donald Trump. How can I get a “Bad Hombre” shirt?

    • WestCoastHwy

      Silk screen, something the Chinese have mass produced using automation and sold online. But if your in Mexico, it will cost 35%+ more than if order in the good old USA. But hey, with Mexican Black Market Logistics coming out of L.A. you can by a sh*t load for dirt cheap but if aduana catches you, your mordida will be 85%+.

      • Thomas Stump

        I’ll wear it on the inside. Thanks.

    • I live in Mexico, and I’m a Trump fan. Last year I ordered a Trump coffee mug via eBay as a souvenir. When it got to Mexican Customs, someone there broke it into shards, replaced it in the box, and sent it along to me. Nice, huh? No matter. I glued it back together, and it now sits proudly on my desk as a pen and pencil holder.

      • Thomas Stump

        For the record, I love Mexico too… They are not mutually exclusive… Funny story on the cup…

  • Thomas Stump

    Great…. But what’s with all the Che Guevara and communist shit? I love Mexico….. The people …. Food… Everything…… Spend a lot of time in Querataro… But not a fan of commies. I’ll get my Donald tee somewhere else.

    • David L. Allison

      Please think for a minute what is turning these folks who were tax paying, hard working residents of the USA into revolutionary activists in a most capitalist and effective ways. They are the kind of entrepreneurs that the USA has always developed. They are making and selling the tee shirts that are most in demand in Mexico and the USA. Please check out the souvenir shops in Querataro and watch which tee shirts are selling the most to US tourists. These business people are the direct opposite of communists.

      • Thomas Stump

        Oh I’ve seen it… pure capitalist really… I believe the worst business move ever would be to open a mediocre restaurant in Mexico. but for whatever reason immigrants from the south vote Democrat (Republicans are lucky to get 30%) and it has changed demographics forever… See California. Enjoy your day sir.

        • David L. Allison

          The immigrants who have traveled to California from south and across the Pacific have done a hell of a lot better job making America great than Donald ever will. Donald and his destruction crew has already destroyed the agricultural economy in the West as produce rots unpicked on the ground and falls off the trees & rots in Florida. He has screwed thousands of farmers who are losing their market to Mexico for corn as Mexico reaches agreements with Brazil and Argentina to trade tariff free sales of corn to Mexico in return for tariff free sale of automobiles to their southern neighbors. He lied to the workers in Indianapolis as their jobs moved to Mexico after he and Pence assured them that their ‘multimillion incentives’ would keep Carrier from leaving. Most recently Donald killed 40,000 blue collar jobs of solar installers with his tariff on imports of inexpensive solar cell arrays from Mexico and China and another 20 to 40,000 jobs killed with the cancellation of the largest single solar array because of uncertainty of supply and cost.

  • satman

    Why not T-shirts with photos of the heads of the Drug Cartels who are responsible for Mexico being number two in the world for murder and mayhem?

    • David L. Allison

      Better the heads of the DEA, the AG and his Boss who continue to support the illegal market for all types of dangerous drugs creating the demand that makes the drug cartels kill one another for the profits. Perhaps the heads of the US drug companies that are making billions of dollars fueling the opioid crisis killing thousands of Americans every week while they raise the prices and profits of life saving drugs by as much as 600 or 700% just because they can. Those poor cartels would be doing so much better if they had lobbyists instead of shooting one another.

  • me

    Good for them!! This current administration is full of inept people. Just check the state dept.

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