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Illegal EncountersThe Effect of Detention and Deportation on Young People$
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Deborah Boehm and Susan Terrio

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479887798

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479887798.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Illegality and Children’s Power in Families

Illegality and Children’s Power in Families

(p.45) 3 Illegality and Children’s Power in Families
Illegal Encounters

Joanna Dreby

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on how regimes of illegality shape children’s power within families, specifically in their relationships with parents and siblings. It explores how unauthorized migration alters the experiences of three groups of children in Mexican migrant families: children in Mexico whose parents are unauthorized migrants in the United States; child migrants living in the United States, most often unauthorized like their parents; and children born in the United States to unauthorized parents. Drawing on interviews conducted with children in both Mexico and the United States, this chapter emphasizes the impact of gender, age and birth order on children’s experiences of power vis-à-vis their relationships with parents and other family members. A turn toward restrictive immigration policies has magnified the detrimental effects of enhanced enforcement and deportation regimes on families and especially on children and youth. U.S. immigration controls affect migrant and non-migrant children; both those whose parents migrate without them as well as those born to migrant parents in host countries. The specter of illegality within a family changes children’s roles and concrete responsibilities in their families as well as their feelings related to these changes.

Keywords:   illegality, kinship, transnational families, mixed-status families, power

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