Family Activism, Family Activism, 0813564565, 0-8135-6456-5, 978-0-8135-6456-2, 9780813564562, , Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States, Family Activism, 0813564573, 0-8135-6457-3, 978-0-8135-6457-9, 9780813564579, , Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States, Family Activism, 0813564581, 0-8135-6458-1, 978-0-8135-6458-6, 9780813564586, , Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States, Family Activism, 0813573602, 0-8135-7360-2, 978-0-8135-7360-1, 9780813573601, , Latini
Family Activism

Immigrant Struggles and the Politics of Noncitizenship
Amalia Pallares (Author)
192 pages, 13 photographs, 1 figure, 6 x 9
Paper, November 2014 $27.95   ADD TO CART
Cloth, November 2014 $90.00   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, November 2014 $27.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, November 2014 $27.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Series: Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States
Subject Area:
Latina/o Studies, American Studies, Sociology


During the past ten years, legal and political changes in the United States have dramatically altered the legalization process for millions of undocumented immigrants and their families. Faced with fewer legalization options, immigrants without legal status and their supporters have organized around the concept of the family as a political subject—a political subject with its rights violated by immigration laws. 

Drawing upon the idea of the “impossible activism” of undocumented immigrants, Amalia Pallares argues that those without legal status defy this “impossible” context by relying on the politicization of the family to challenge justice within contemporary immigration law. The culmination of a seven-year-long ethnography of undocumented immigrants and their families in Chicago, as well as national immigrant politics,Family Activism examines the three ways in which the family has become politically significant: as a political subject, as a frame for immigrant rights activism, and as a symbol of racial subordination and resistance. 

By analyzing grassroots campaigns, churches and interfaith coalitions, immigrant rights movements, and immigration legislation, Pallares challenges the traditional familial idea, ultimately reframing the family as a site of political struggle and as a basis for mobilization in immigrant communities.  


"In this compelling and highly original work, Pallares illustrates how Latino activists frame the family to contest immigrants' negative representation and to make counterclaims on behalf of unauthorized and mixed-status families."
—Pat Zavella, author of I'm Neither Here Nor There: Mexicans' Quotidian Struggles with Migrati

"Family Activism is a timely, compelling, and significant contribution to understanding the desperation experienced by immigrant families, by women and children, and by undocumented youth raised in the United States because of the ever-present fear of deportation—a must read!"
—Leo R. Chavez, author of Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation

Author / Editor Bio

AMALIA PALLARES is an associate professor of political science and the director of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of From Peasant Struggles to Indian Resistance: The Ecuadorian Andes in the Late Twentieth Century and the coeditor of Marcha: Latino Chicago and the Immigrant Rights Movement.

Table Of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Immigrant Rights Activism and the Family Paradox

1          From Reunification to Separation

2          A Tale of Sanctuary: Agency, Representativity, and Motherhood

3          Regarding Family: From Local to National Activism

4          Our Youth, Our Families: DREAM Act Politics and Neoliberal Nationalism

Conclusion:Moving Beyond the Boundaries


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