Examining the Lives of Undocumented Day Laborers in a Southeast Texas Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Setting

Billy Brocato, Furjen Deng
2014 International J. Soc. Sci. & Education   unpublished
Current sociological research focuses on the lives of undocumented Hispanic immigrants located in the West Coast and Southwestern regions of the United States. However, a review of the literature reveals a lack of research regarding the community experiences of undocumented day laborers in southeast Texas, where the second largest population of undocumented Hispanic immigrants resides. Semi-structured field interviews with undocumented day laborers explored the group's socio-demographic
more » ... ristics in a Southeast Texas metropolitan and nonmetropolitan setting. A 44-item survey questionnaire coupled with prior social research findings provided a practical description undocumented day laborers lived experiences by location. The study gave details into the daily struggles and coping strategies day laborers use in different community places. The findings revealed: 1) undocumented workers experiences and socio-demographic characteristics varied by community place, 2) social marginalization was a heteronomous frame across the two groups, and 3) an interactional community field approach could prove useful in understanding the formation, access, and use of social capital in new migration destinations.