David Noriega

The Disappearing Road Home

Inside one immigrant family's search for a different American dream

The house in Mexico is a two-story, three-bedroom brick building with a bright blue door and a jacaranda tree in front, set against a hill in the southern state of Guerrero. Atanacio, who cannot give his full name because he has lived as an undocumented immigrant in New York City for 12 years, built it with the wages he earned washing dishes and delivering Mexican food in Manhattan. “I designed it myself,” he said in Spanish as he and his wife, Maximina, who is also undocumented, showed me pictures at their kitchen table one day in March.

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