Navigating legality: transnational mixed-status families and the U.S. family-based immigration

Tower Center Associate Jennifer Cook wrote about how as ‘legal’ immigrants, Mexicans with U.S. lawful permanent resident status have the rare opportunity to petition for immigrant visas for certain eligible family members. This article draws on multi-sited ethnographic research carried out over six years in Guanajuato, Mexico and Connecticut, United States, to examine the experiences of transnational mixed-status families with access to the U.S family-based immigration system. For some families, legalisation is perceived as a crucial resource. For others, legalisation poses a threat to family and community ties. Legalisation is not an inevitable or natural outcome of access to the family-based immigration system. Rather, it entails a complex process of negotiation among family members with different degrees of influence, and divergent and shifting goals. Read more here.