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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: 16 September 2021

The Post-1996 Immigrant Underclass

The Post-1996 Immigrant Underclass

(p.76) 4 The Post-1996 Immigrant Underclass
Illegal Encounters

Susan Bibler Coutin

NYU Press

This chapter shows how children who immigrate to the United States from Central America are at risk of becoming an underclass, a set of individuals whose life opportunities are powerfully constrained by legal status. Child arrivals, as those who immigrate to the United States before turning 16 have come to be known, may experience a number of adverse circumstances, including violence in their country of origin, lengthy family separations, the challenges of immigrating without authorization, being undocumented in the United States, a lack of work authorization, challenges pursuing higher education, poverty, racism, the threat of removal, no opportunity to permanently regularize, and a deep disjuncture between legal and social experiences of belonging. This chapter charts the contradictory outcomes as young people move through legal systems. Although local, state and federal measures have provided undocumented students with some legal protections and educational benefits, these remedies remain limited and the threat or the actuality of deportation looms large. This chapter details the structural obstacles that place young immigrants in an underclass, confining them to spaces of legal nonexistence and forcing them to linger rather than move out of systems of immigration control.

Keywords:   immigration, legal status, Central America, underclass, child arrivals

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