El Salvador’s call-center industry is profiting off US deportees.
by Hilary Goodfriend, Jacobin
December 16, 2016
I had chosen a Mr. Donut café in San Salvador to meet Raúl. An agent in El Salvador’s burgeoning call-center industry, Raúl had been a member of the so-called 1.5 Generation of immigrants who were born abroad but spent their formative years in the United States, before he was deported. The donut shop sits in the shadow of the iconic Salvador del Mundo monument, now dwarfed by several towering call centers. That day, they were giving out two-for-one donuts to celebrate Civic Month, which marks the country’s independence from the Spanish Crown, in a deal that has become a patriotic ritual in El Salvador.
Raúl was taken off guard by the festival of patriotic gluttony. Like mine, Raul’s civic education had taken place elsewhere. In effortless English, he tells me, “Growing up pledging allegiance to the American flag, it sinks into you . . . To this day, for example, I hear the national anthem at a football game, I’m not gonna lie, I get teary-eyed. I mean, when I hear the Salvadorian national anthem it’s like, okay.”
He laughs and shrugs his shoulders. “I mean, it’s my country, I know I’m born here, but my life has been over there.”[...]
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