3032 migration: undocumented/illegal

legal minimum, they embody marginality and
social exclusion.
With regard to policymaking no Southern
European country has adequate immigration
infrastructure or legislative enactments, although
framework immigration laws were introduced
at different stages in the four countries: 1985
in Spain, 1986 and 1990 in Italy, 1991 in Greece,
and 1993 in Portugal. For example, the partici
pation of migrant women with work permits in
the collectivity of the modern Greek state is
restricted in terms of legal, political, economic,
civil, and social rights, depending on the color of
their skin and ethnic origin. Undocumented
migrant female workers without permits are
the most restricted and therefore the most vul
nerable of all workers, living a precarious exis
tence, often institutionalized in legal, social,
cultural, and economic apartheids. These pat
terns are not unlike patterns in informal
labor markets globally, especially for undocu
mented workers. Discrimination in the provin
cial towns and villages is an area that is hugely
under investigated.
In another part of the world, Hobbs and Sauer
(2005) argue that the non status residents of
Canada constitute a vast and highly exploited
workforce, often working for very low wages
and no benefits in unsafe conditions with no job
security, although they contribute to the econ
omy through paying taxes such as GST and
PST, property tax, and gas tax. The Canadian
economy benefits from and depends on this mar
ginal, non citizen labor force, even as it denies
non status individuals access to services to which
they contribute. In addition to their paid work,
non status persons also perform socially essential
unpaid labor within the private spheres of
home and family, often without the support of
social assistance. Far from being a drain on the
economy, non status immigrants and refugees
are crucial to economic well being. From a purely
economic perspective, it is highly unreasonable to
deny people without status the right to adequate
social services.
In the US a number of immigration laws have
been passed to implement a policy of restricting
illegal immigration. Mexican immigrants
including those without documentation have
long provided a crucial labor force supporting,
and at times rescuing, US agribusiness enter
prises. Particularly in regions of the American
West, where labor intensive, hand harvested
fruits and vegetables are the predominant farm
crops, agribusiness development has encour
aged a mobile, transient labor force. This has
contributed to a migrant flow from Mexico
that is deeply rooted temporally, and broadly
enmeshed socially, in communities in the US.
US immigration policies aimed at curtailing
undocumented immigration appear, at best, to
be generally ineffective. At worst, they may
prove counterproductive, creating an undocu
mented population that is markedly poor, less
healthy, less educated, and more tenuously
connected to the rest of society (Massey &
Espinosa 1997). Neither the US political econ
omy nor its immigration policies provide reason
to anticipate much, if any, reduction in the
undocumented immigrant Mexican popula
tion. Despite significant associated human
costs, including both traumas of the border
crossing experience and the difficult lived
experience that follows for most in the US,
the steady flow of undocumented immigrants
continues. Demographic estimates indicate that
undocumented Mexican women, and particu
larly those accompanied by children, are migrat
ing to the US in increasing numbers.
Theoretical frameworks (such as classical
migration theory based on push pull factors
and Marxist labor market theory based on social
class within capitalist expansionism) that have
historically dominated international migration
analyses have focused on men. Where men
tioned, women are incorporated as a component
of the male study respondents social capital,
or network of social ties that influence potential
costs, risks, and benefits associated with the
mens migration (Massey & Espinosa 1997).
The growing selection of explicitly gendered
field studies that took off during the 1980s
reveals the great complexity of issues migrant
women face, particularly as they intersect with
the fate of children. Studies initially were con
cerned with how to add women to the migra
tion field, where their presence was either
peripheral or simply invisible. They often
appeared when issues of employment or repro
ductive rights were discussed. Numerous stu
dies in the 1990s, however, placed women at the
center of analysis as proper agents of structural
and social change, thus reconceptualizing tools
central to conventional models of migration,