the state, undocumented migration, and the workplace:
Just in time for Fabio’s proclamation of April as race month, sociologist Jacqueline Olvera has just published an article in Sociology Compass that might interest those looking for a state-of-the-field review of the interrelations among the state, undocumented migration, and the workplace:
“The State, Unauthorized Mexican Migration, and Vulnerability in the Workplace“
For the last 20 years, migration scholars have generated a number of important empirical insights about the ways in which the state, through the enactment of immigration policies, creates workplace vulnerabilities such as discrimination, harassment, wage theft, workplace raids, and the threat of deportation. Recent studies of illegality also examine the role of the state but do so in a way that explores what legal status means and how it is experienced in everyday lives of migrants marked as “illegal” by the state. This article reviews recent research that shows that the state operates in a gray zone of enforcement that puts migrants in ambiguous social spaces and heightens their vulnerability at work. However, research also finds that migrants find ways to exert their agency in challenging work environments.