Becoming Legal: Immigration Law and Mixed Status Families

Paperback | June 17, 2016

byRuth Gomberg-Munoz

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There are approximately eleven million undocumented people living in the United States, and most of them have U.S. citizen family members. There is a common perception that marriage to a U.S. citizen puts undocumented immigrants on a quick and easy path to U.S. citizenship. But for people whohave entered the U.S. unlawfully and live here without papers, the line to legal status is neither short nor easy, even for those with U.S. citizen spouses. Becoming Legal: Immigration Law and Mixed Status Families follows mixed status couples down the long and bumpy road of immigration processing.It explores how they navigate every step along the way, from the decision to undertake legalization, to the immigration interview in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to the effort to put together a case of "extreme hardship" so that the undocumented family member can return. Author Ruth Gomberg-Munoz alsodiscusses families' efforts to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of immigration processing-both for those who are successful and those who are not. Becoming Legal provides rare insights into U.S. immigration processing and the ways in which immigration policies affect undocumented people, lawful immigrants, and U.S. citizens alike. It will also help students more fully understand central questions in U.S. immigration debates, such as: Why don'tundocumented people wait their turn to enter the U.S. legally? Why don't they legalize their status when they have U.S. citizen relatives? And, what are the relationships between undocumented people and U.S. citizens in the current period?

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There are approximately eleven million undocumented people living in the United States, and most of them have U.S. citizen family members. There is a common perception that marriage to a U.S. citizen puts undocumented immigrants on a quick and easy path to U.S. citizenship. But for people whohave entered the U.S. unlawfully and live he...

Ruth Gomberg-Munoz is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Loyola University Chicago. Her work has been published in American Anthropologist, Human Organization, and The DuBois Review. She is the author of Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network (OUP, 2010).

other books by Ruth Gomberg-Munoz

Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:June 17, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190276010

ISBN - 13:9780190276010

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"Becoming Legal will be a classic for introductory courses on globalization and migration, on the US immigration system, and on 'the immigrant experience.' No other text I know of examines the history of our current immigration control system, as well as how it systematically penalizes Mexicanimmigrants...It is well-written, well-argued, and accessible, and I think it will be an excellent addition to the courses I teach...One of the terrific strengths of this book is that it humanizes undocumented migrants by presenting as ordinary people with whom readers can identity-people who formfamilies and understandably wish to remain with them." --Sarah Horton, University of Colorado, Denver