Founded in 2015, Madres and Familias Deportadas Center grew out of relationships with people in the USA who wanted to help families separated by deportation. The organization sought to encourage a more balanced narrative about Mexico’s migration and reduce stigma against people who have been deported to Mexico. According to Maria Galletas, the founder of Madres & Familias Deportadas, “when people get deported, the focus is often on what they might have done wrong and not on who and what they leave behind”. Galletas took the initiative to open an information Center in Tijuana for deportees. Most deportees are completely lost once US immigration officers remove them to Tijuana being that is not where many of them originate. Maria’s Center helps migrants during a tough transitional period.
Maria Galleta has worked in the Tijuana/San Diego border region as an activist for over thirty years. As a co-founder of Christy's Place, she offered counseling to people with HIV/AIDS and has since worked with numerous organizations advocating for social services and human rights for marginalized communities. Originally from the state of Jalisco, Mexico, Maria is committed to advocating for the rights of deportees and migrants.
Alex Gomez (Tito) has worked as a professor and border historian since 1994. He works to educate communities along both sides of the border to the complex historical, political, and economic dimensions of migration through the US-Mexico border region. He has led academic tours of the Tijuana-San Diego corridor since 1998.