On the Verge of Separation: Family Life in an Era of Mass Deportations
Access StatusFull text of the requested work is not available in DASH at this time ("dark deposit"). For more information on dark deposits, see our FAQ.
Valdivia Ordorica, Carolina
MetadataShow full item record
CitationValdivia Ordorica, Carolina. 2020. On the Verge of Separation: Family Life in an Era of Mass Deportations. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractOver the past three decades, Congress has failed to provide a path to citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. despite their enduring social ties in the country. Migrants have instead been subjected to increasing levels of immigration enforcement, especially during the current era of mass deportations. This dissertation examines the social and psychological consequences of heightened immigration enforcement practices at the local level on undocumented immigrants and their families.
Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews with 103 members of undocumented and mixed-status families in San Diego County, I find that the “geographies of deportability”—a term I use to denote the physical sites where immigration enforcement is localized based on families’ unique perspectives—has widened its domain of enforcement by incorporating non-traditional sites, in addition to more traditional sites, into its orbit. Traditional sites of enforcement have always included the physical U.S.-Mexico border, immigration checkpoints, ports of entry, and detention centers, while the use of non-traditional sites for enforcement purposes appears to be a more gradual and relatively recent phenomenon. Families, for example, report frequent sightings of immigration officers in non-traditional sites ranging widely from public spaces such as roads and neighborhoods, to government agencies like the DMV, to commercial places including grocery stores and swap meets, to more private settings such as their own apartment complexes.
As the social landscape becomes more hostile toward immigrants, families constantly shift routines, roles, and responsibilities to adapt to changes in immigration enforcement and prevent being separated. Young adults with access to work authorization, for instance, will make greater financial contributions to the household so that their parents (who are undocumented) do not have to work and risk being apprehended. While preventative in nature, this social reality can nevertheless disrupt members’ individual trajectories and strain family resources in the long-term.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365846
- FAS Theses and Dissertations