Racializing the Migration Process: An Ethnographic Analysis of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States
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From the exterior, the United States has extracted natural resources and transformed the social dynamics of those living on the periphery, contributing to the emigration from Mexico and immigration to the United States. This,in turn,creates the racialization of the Mexican immigrant, specifically the undocumented immigrant—the "illegal alien." I argue that this unilateral interaction operates with a racial formation of the Mexican immigrant created by elite white (non-Hispanic) males. The anti-Mexican immigrant subframe and "prowhite" subframe derive from the white racial frame,which racializes the undocumented immigrant in the United States. In addition, the subframes are evident in the three stages of migration. The three stages consist of threefold factors: First, the exploitation of Mexican resources (natural and human) and racialized immigration policies; second, the social networks and smugglers, called coyotes, who assist the undocumented immigrant to bypass barriers; and third, the discrimination undocumented immigrants encounter in the United States by other people of color. This dissertation relied on the migration experience of thirty Mexican male day-laborers,living in Texas, to examine the white racial framing of undocumented immigrants. The findings demonstrate how the U.S. immigration policies and members of the host society persistently exhibit the white racial frame and its subframes. This study is essential, because, aside from noting the issues of unauthorized migration, it demonstrates how elite white males shape the dialogue on the discourse and all that surrounds the migration process.
Molina, Hilario 1972- (2011). Racializing the Migration Process: An Ethnographic Analysis of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from