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In this illuminating work, immigrant rights activist Aviva Chomsky shows how “illegality” and “undocumentedness” are concepts that were created to exclude and exploit. With a focus on US policy, she probes how people, especially Mexican and Central Americans, have been assigned this status—and to what ends. Blending history with human drama, Chomsky explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context. The result is a powerful testament of the complex, contradictory, and ever-shifting nature of status in America.
Table of Contents
Where Did Illegality Come From? 23
Choosing to Be Undocumented 40
Becoming Illegal 71
What Part of “Illegal” Do You Understand? 87
Working (Part 1) 113
Working (Part 2) 130
Children and Families 152
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