Labor and Legality Tenth Anniversary Edition


Labor and Legality is an ethnographic account of the lives of ten undocumented workers in Chicago, originally published in 2010. The book seeks to push past one-dimensional rhetoric and show that undocumented workers are neither mere victims nor criminals, but complicated people engaged in workaday struggles to make their lives better. The book follows these men through their daily routines and records their efforts to improve their fortunes and make sense of their lives.

In a dramatically shifting sociopolitical terrain, the lives of the ten men featured in Labor and Legality go on. For some, life goes on in Mexico following deportation, while for others, life looks more or less as it did ten years ago—at least on the surface. But none of the men’s lives are unchanged, and none are unscathed.

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