Undocumented Immigration



Instructions:In this paper, you will describe the factors (historical, legal, social, political, etc.) that have created and sustained undocumented immigration from Mexico and Central America to the United States.You will also describe one additional (unintended) consequence of current U.S. immigration policy. Please answer the following two short essay questions, using examples from course materials:

  • Explain the socio-political history of undocumented immigration from Mexico and Central America. When, how, and why did undocumented immigration from those regions begin? How have contemporary policies such as IRCA (1986), IIRAIRA (1996), and NACARA (1997) perpetuated the growth of undocumented immigration?(3-4 pages)
  • Describe one additional (unintended) consequence of current U.S. immigration policy. Choose eithera) increase in migrant deaths along the US border; orb) the rise of detention/deportation. Be sure to explain what policies have led to this consequence. (1-2 pages).

Use ASA Style Guide for citations

  • Use (AuthorLastName Year) for in-text citations (with page numbers as necessary).
  • Provide an alphabetized bibliography list for all citations used in the text.
  • Use (Patler lecture mm/dd/yy) for lecture citations. Also list this in bibliography.
  • For published examples I show in class, use (description of citation, as shown in Patler lecture mm/dd/yy). Also list this in bibliography.


Urrea. 2005. ch. 8 “Bad Step at Bluebird”, ch.10 “The Long Walk,” ch. 11 “Their Names,” ch. 13 “The Trees and the Sun,” ch. 14 “Helicopters,” ch. 16 “Home” excerpts (p. 214-219)

Los Angeles Times. “Death and Deliverance”:…

San Diego Union Tribune. “What does ‘get in line’ mean in immigration debate?” March 2017.…

New York Times. “America didn’t always lock up immigrants”…

Listen to or read transcript

NY Times Books, “In the Valley of Fear”:…

Listen: This American Life: The One Thing You’re Not Supposed To Do, Act One.…Or read the transcript of Act One here.

Listen: This American Life: “Let Me Count the Ways.”… or read the transcript here

Patler, Caitlin and Tanya Golash-Boza. 2017. “The Fiscal and Human Costs of Immigrant Detention and Deportation in the United States.” Sociology Compass…

Massey, Douglas S., Jorge Durand, & Karen A. Pren (2014). “Explaining Undocumented Migration to the U.S.” International Migration Review. 48 (4): p.1028-1032.…

Patler, Caitlin. 2013. “7 Myths about Undocumented Immigration.” UCLA Center for the Study of Women.…

Abrego, Leisy J. 2006. “I Can’t Go to College Because I Don’t Have Papers: Incorporation Patterns of Latino Undocumented Youth.” Latino Studies 4(3): Read “Introduction” (p. 213), “The Category of Undocumented Immigration” (p. 214-215), The last paragraph in the section “Undocumented youth and education” (starts with “This article analyzes…” p. 2016-17), Findings from the research (p. 218- 225).…

Patler, Caitlin. 2017. “’Citizens but for Papers:’ Undocumented Youth Organizations, Anti-Deportation Campaigns, and the Boundaries of Belonging.” Social Problems Online First:1-20. doi: 10.1093/socpro/spw045.…

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