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Transnational Migrants By Stephen And Leisy Abrego

Decent Essays
Migration can be explored through a multitude of frameworks. With different analytical tools, one is able to delve into different conversations and create new public discourses that will shape policy (Arredondo 2016). Lynn Stephen and Leisy Abrego propose new views on transnational migrants from Mexico and El Salvador shifting the dominant narrative of what if means to be a transnational migrant. While Lynn Stephen focuses on the transborder-ness of indigenous Oaxacan transnational migrants, Leisy Abrego focuses on transnational Salvadoran families’ experiences. Both Stephen and Abrego discuss transnational migration through micro and macro points of view, identifying the larger structures that influence the experiences of the migrants. Both…show more content…
One of Lynn Stephen’s main argument is to adopt the term transborder to describe transnational migrants. She believes the term more accurately depicts the experiences of, in particular, Oaxacan migrants who have simultaneous ties in different spaces. She explains, “I want to suggest, however, that we have to look beyond the national in order to understand the complete nature of what people are moving or “transing” between” (Stephen, 2007, p. 23). She elaborates that Oaxacan migrants cross ethnic, cultural, colonial, and state borders within Mexico and the U.S. along with the national border. With this definition, when discussing the transnational collective identity, taking into consideration the many borders the Oaxacan migrants cross, there is a visibility of the discrimination and racialization they face within the…show more content…
She focuses on the struggles but most importantly the discrepancies in the emotional and economic well being of the family. She proposes that, “U.S. immigration policies— particularly through the production of illegality— and gendered opportunities and expectations more powerfully explained these transnational families’ divergent experiences” (Abrego, 2014, p. 193). When discussing the traumatic experiences of the families, she argues that the U.S. production of (il)legality, the array of legal statuses affect the emotional and economic well being of the migrants and their children in El Salvador. For example, she compared the situation of families where the parents made the unauthorized journey to the U.S. The stories of the dangerous journey are heart-wrenching and they are strikingly different to the authorized trip to the U.S. with a visa. Not only does (il)legality affect the journey but it also affects the migrants settlement specifically the “accrued disadvantages” (Abrego, 2014, p. 57). In addition, she explained how the gender norms and expectations cause mothers to feel more emotionally burdened than the father for leaving their
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