Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published as: Víctor Zúñiga & Edmund T. Hamann (2015) Going to a home you have never been to: the return migration of Mexican and American-Mexican children, Children's Geographies, 13:6, 643-655, DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2014.936364


Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


The paper has two goals. The first is to present the main quantitative findings drawn from four surveys we conducted in Nuevo León (2004, n=14,473), Zacatecas (2005, n=11,258), Puebla (2009, n=18,829) and Jalisco (2010, n=11,479) using representative samples of children aged 7 to 16. We classified children in the following categories: (a) children who are returnees (who were born in Mexico), (b) international migrant children (born in the U.S.), and (c) mononational Mexicans. Among the second group, we distinguish children who had school experiences in the U.S. and those younger transnationals who came to Mexico before enrolling in school. The second goal is consider these children’s cosmologies, revealed through interviews and survey responses, and to interpret the ways children explain their return migration from the United States to Mexico within the context of increasing voluntary and forced-return migration to Mexico. So data drawn from our mixed methods inquiry add younger voices and complicate sociological typologies about migration, motives for migration, and returnees.