LEISY ABREGO. Illegality across Class, Gender, and Borders

Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

Immigration researchers have generally applied the concept of illegality—the historically contingent, legally, politically, and socially produced condition affecting undocumented immigrants—to people residing within the boundaries of the receiving country. In that context, it refers mainly to the continuous risk of deportation and its associated consequences. This talk will examine the ways that illegality, even when it is legally produced in the United States, applies and has important consequences for people beyond U.S. borders. Based on in-depth interviews with Salvadoran migrants and their families, the talk will explore how illegality intersects with gender and class to inform the migration decision, journey, and settlement processes.

Leisy Abrego is Assistant Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. She earned her PhD in Sociology at UCLA in 2008. Her research examines the complex consequences of immigration policies in immigrants’ lives. Her book on the gendered and legally stratified experiences of family separation, Forced Apart: Gender and Illegality in Salvadoran Transnational Families (Stanford University Press), is in press. She has also published in the American Journal of SociologyJournal of Marriage and Family, andLaw & Society Review, among others.