The rise in U.S. deportations has resulted in a growing number of studies focused on the reintegration experiences of these migrants in their home communities. Based on interviews with deportees shortly after their arrival home, these studies paint a picture of economic gloom, finding that deportees are too frequently stigmatised by governments and employers and consequently unemployed or working on the margins of their home economies. In contrast, our longitudinal and comparative study, which draws on the findings of 93 deported and voluntary migrants in Leon, Mexico, finds convergence in the labour market trajectories and social mobility outcomes of deportees and nondeportees, which reduces initial labour market disparities over time. We found that deportation can stymie migrants’ initial labour market re-entry, often relegating former migrants to undesirable jobs in the informal labour market, while they refamiliarise themselves with their local labour markets and identify promising opportunities. Yet, in the long run, successful reintegration depends primarily on the acquisition and mobilisation of human and financial capital across the migratory circuit.