Research Paper Leticia M. Saucedo

Voices Without Law: The Border Crossing Stories and Workplace Attitudes of Immigrants
Leticia M. Saucedo (Affiliate in Law) and M. Cristina Morales

The dynamic between immigration restrictions and migrant masculinities narratives raises important questions about the effects of border crossing masculinities narratives on the employment dynamic in the workplace.  The narratives that make migrants protagonists in border crossing stories also make them agents who are able to endure undesirable workplace conditions.   The same narratives of endurance, facing risk and danger, and the need to become a family provider cause immigrants to accept conditions in the workplace others might not readily accept.   The fact that the narratives intertwine at the intersection of immigration and employment law regimes means that we must consider the effects of law on immigrants in a multidimensional manner, so that the exploitation particular to migrants will be more effectively addressed.

In this Essay, researchers review the narratives that arise out of immigrants’ border crossing experiences, and reveal how those narratives appear again when immigrants discuss their workplace experiences.  The stories and the narratives in this Essay are gleaned from a series of interviews with immigrant workers over several years.  In these narratives, migrants perpetuate stories rooted in masculinity that allow them to take and to withstand increasingly greater risks resulting from border restrictions. The narratives also encourage workers to tolerate difficult conditions in the workplace.