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The temporality of illegality: experiences of undocumented Latin American migrants in London

Gutiérrez Garza, Ana (2018) The temporality of illegality: experiences of undocumented Latin American migrants in London. Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 2018 (81). pp. 86-98. ISSN 0920-1297

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Identification Number: 10.3167/fcl.2018.810107


Through an ethnography of undocumented migrants from Latin America to London, I explore the temporality of illegality as a piecemeal process in which migrants find themselves embodying new ways of being in the world. I investigate the power of illegality beyond its legal connotations and through the analysis of the everyday experiences of migrants in London, I show how it affects the external structure of migrants’ worlds, as well as their subjectivities. I show how the illegal status is imagined, embodied, and sustained over an indefinite and uncertain length of time. Undocumented migrants in London are required to slowly adapt, to wait through anxious engagements with other people, and to deal with a legal system that controls their fractured presents and their uncertain futures.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Stichting Focaal and Berghahn Books
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2018 09:07
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 00:41

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