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The Production Of The "Illegal Subject"

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the migration industrial complex and the migration industry. It first provides a context for understanding the impact of neoliberal policies on migration by historicizing the immigration and labor policies that shaped early Mexican labor in the United States. The chapter then presents a discussion of how immigration policy invented "illegal aliens" to produce a temporary labor force and labor policy codified their exclusion from legal protections afforded other groups of workers. Both groups of policies expanded U.S. employers' control over legal and illegal Mexican workers. The chapter outlines neoliberal policies affecting the Mexican workforce, which promoted labor migration both within Mexico and north across the U.S.-Mexico border. Anticipated outcomes of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) included increases in both legal and undocumented migration. Finally, it outlines the influence of neoliberal policies in expanding economic activity at the border.

Keywords: Mexican labor; migration industry; neoliberal policies; North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); United States (U.S)



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