1st Edition

Undocumented Migrants in the United States Life Narratives and Self-representations

By Ina Batzke Copyright 2019
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Whilst many undocumented migrants in the United States continue to exist in the shadows, since the turn of the millennium an increasing number have emerged within public debate, casting themselves against the dominant discursive trope of the "illegal alien," and entering the struggle over political self-representation. Drawing on a range of life narratives published from 2001 to 2016, this book explores how undocumented migrants have represented themselves in various narrative forms in the context of the DREAM Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) movement.

    By reading these self-representations as both a product of America's changing views on citizenship and membership, and an arena where such views can potentially be challenged, the book interrogates the role such self-representations have played not only in constructing undocumented migrant identities, but also in shaping social borders. At a time when the inclusion and exclusion of (potential) citizens is once again highly debated in the United States, the book concludes by giving a potential indication of where views on undocumented migration might be headed. This interdisciplinary exploration of migrant narratives will be of interest to scholars and researchers across American Literary and Cultural Studies, Citizenship Studies, and Ethnic and Migration Studies.

    Introduction: Documenting the Undocumented  Part 1: From Aliens to DREAMers  1. The Making of the "Illegal Alien"  2. A Pathway to Citizenship for "Illegal Aliens"  Part 2: Life Narratives by Undocumented Migrants  3. The Beginnings of the Undocumented Movement: The First Congressional Testimonies  4. The Undocumented Movement Comes of Age: Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out  5. Unapologetic, Unafraid, Undocuqueer: Jose Antonio Vargas’ "Outlaw"  Part 3: Life Writing by Undocumented Migrants  6. From DREAM Act to DACA, from Life Narrative to Life Writing: Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s Undocumented  7. Challenging How to Narrate Undocumentedness: José Ángel N.’s Illegal  Concluding Remarks:
    Undocumented in Trump’s America


    Ina Batzke is Lecturer at the Chair of American Studies at Münster University, Germany, and Visiting Scholar at the Department of History at UC Santa Barbara, California, USA

    "Drawing from life narratives, including court testimonials, collaborative story collections, newspaper essays and memoirs, Ina Batzke applies fascinating insights from the burgeoning realm of narrative studies and law, and thereby contributes crucial insights, and support, to previously protected classes of undocumented persons who, after years of uncertain status, are currently under threat of deportation."Robert F Barsky, Professor of Literature and of Law, Vanderbilt University, USA

    "Ina Batzke has written an original and creative study of an exciting new genre—undocumented migrant literature. Exploring a variety of published autobiographies, oral histories, and online testimonies, Batzke has given us first hand narratives of young Dreamers. She has produced the first scholarly analysis of this new genre. A great contribution and much needed!"Mario Garcia, University of California, USA