Humiliation over a supposed failure and feelings arising from the combination of culture tend to be common, Anderson said.
"It's hard to understand that they can be both from here and from there," she said.
"You belong to a country that you have not lived in, that you don't know," said Marco Antonio Castillo, president of the Popular Assembly of Migrant Families, a Mexico City-based group that helps advise migrants.
The loneliness and confusion in dealing with the new environment can push many youths to join organized crime, Castillo said.
"For example, those who arrive in (the state of) Guerrero, if they have a criminal record, will not find opportunities in the formal economy," Castillo said. "But he can put his English to use for organized crime, acting as a translator or smuggler of drugs toward the United States."
Drowning in paperwork
Anderson leads a group that shares the name of her book, whose members insist on finding the Mexican Dream and seek opportunities in their country. The group, formed by youth immigrants who returned to Mexico, was born out of the impact they suffered upon their return, feeling lost among the legal paperwork and social customs. They used a Facebook page to orient themselves on how to maneuver through the Mexican bureaucracy.
Many don't speak Spanish well and the Mexican system doesn't have programs for social reinsertion.
"The migrants don't know how to do the paperwork and to what agencies to go to," Anderson said.
"Returning to Mexico and not speaking Spanish or dressing a certain way, or liking a certain type of music, also creates conflict," Arenas said.
To study in Mexico, the education ministry requires that all documents be translated and bear the seal of the institute that issued them. Unable to complete this step, these youths "are treated like undocumented immigrants in their own country," Anderson said.
Sometimes, a lack of family support or economic resources keep needed paperwork from being completed.
"There are times when the schools in the United States ask for their former student to show up in person to pick up documents, even though they've been deported," she said.
In most cases, the young immigrants left their families in the United States. They dream of returning to see them or to earn a livelihood in Mexico to bring them over. The loneliness and emotional exhaustion can bring feelings of not belonging to any place.
But that is not true in every case.
"I felt that I arrived and was here in my place here in Mexico from day one," Hernandez said.
Once they adapt to Mexican society, many feel free. They enjoy not having to hide. They feel thankful for the country that once again is their home.
"It's true, I am achieving my Mexican Dream now in this moment, but my life is incomplete," said another youth, Pedro Hernandez. "I am far from my family."