New from IMR

Labor, Well-Being, and Immigration Enforcement

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New from IMR: Labor, Well-Being, and Immigration Enforcement

The Summer 2019 edition of the International Migration Review (IMR) is now available online and in print through paid or institutional subscription. This edition is sorted thematically into three sections. The first section examines immigrant labor and immigration policy, including an article on the decline of the Thai guestworker program in Taiwan and future outcomes for guestworker programs. The second section has articles that examine the second generation, education, and social well-being. The third section analyzes legal status and immigration enforcement. It features two articles, one that compares the effectiveness of two US enforcement approaches and another that examines “toxic ties,” or immigration enforcement’s impact on the relationship between documented and undocumented people. Lastly, this edition has four new book reviews, which are free to access.

Thai Guestworker Export in Decline: The Rise and Fall of the Thailand-Taiwan Migration System
Katie Rainwater and Lindy Brooks Williams

For decades, rural Thais have been employed as “guestworkers” in the Middle East and Asia. Once the predominate source of guest labor in Taiwan, Thais are being replaced by migrants from other countries. This article examines this transition through the migration systems framework, which takes a transnational perspective on migrant movement between sending and receiving countries. It finds that Thais are increasingly deciding against work in Taiwan because of a diminishing wage gap between the two countries. Based on this finding, the article argues that over time, the national composition of migrant guestworker programs change, with fewer migrants from more prosperous countries. These findings add to the migration systems literature by contributing to understandings of guestworker migration systems in Asia and the Middle East.

Deporting “Bad Hombres”? The Profile of Deportees under Widespread Versus Prioritized Enforcement
Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, Thitima Puttitanun, and Ana P. Martinez-Donate

This article evaluates the effectiveness of widespread versus prioritized immigration enforcement in the United States. Prioritized enforcement is a targeted approach that focuses apprehension, detention, and deportation efforts on those with serious criminal offenses, while widespread enforcement is a more far-reaching approach. Using past data on the alleged detention motives of Mexican deportees from 2014 to 2015, it finds that the widespread approach increased detainees’ likelihood of being detained for minor offenses such as traffic violations. However, the trend is reversed with prioritized enforcement — deportees were more likely to be detained for serious offenses. These findings show that the prioritized enforcement approach was effective in prioritizing serious criminal offenses. Because of the cost of deportations on families, communities, and US taxpayers, the article argues that future enforcement policies should use the prioritized approach.

Toxic Ties: The Reproduction of Legal Violence within Mixed-Status Intimate Partners, Relatives, and Friends
Deisy Del Real

This article introduces the concept of “toxic ties” to analyze how relationships between documented and undocumented people are impacted by government policies that legally sanction violence (such as family separation) and unevenly distribute rights and benefits. Toxic ties are relationships in which a documented person uses the benefits of his/her legal status as a way to abuse or exploit undocumented partners, relatives, or friends. Drawing on interviews with undocumented and US-born young adults in southern California, the article shows that as relationships between documented and undocumented people turn toxic, the resulting toxic ties reproduce state-sanctioned violence in everyday life. Future research should further explore how toxic ties affect migrants’ life outcomes.

The full table of contents for the Summer 2019 issue of IMR is available below:

Issue Information

Table of Contents

Immigrant Labor, Immigration Policy

The Making of Immigrant Niches in an Affluent Welfare State
Jon Horgen Friberg and Arnfinn H. Midtbøen

The Politics of Skilled Immigration: Explaining the Ups and Downs of the US H-1B Visa Program
Andrew Kennedy

Thai Guestworker Export in Decline: The Rise and Fall of the Thailand-Taiwan Migration System
Katie Rainwater and Lindy Brooks Williams

The Second Generation, Education, and Social Well-Being

Immigrants, Place, and Health: Destination Area Health Contexts and Routine Physician and Dental Care for Children of Mexican Immigrants
Deborah R. Graefe, Gordon F. De Jong, Stephanie Howe Hasanali, and Chris Galvan

The Intergenerational Assimilation of Completed Fertility: Comparing the Convergence of Different Origin Groups
Ben Wilson

The Immigrant-Native Gap in Subjective Well-Being in Western European Countries: Assessing the Role of Social Capital
Mesay A. Tegegne and Jennifer L. Glanville

Ethnic Composition of Schools and Students’ Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Sweden
Maria Branden, Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund, and Ryszard Szulkin

Legal Status, Enforcement, and Perceived Discrimination

Deporting “Bad Hombres”? The Profile of Deportees under Widespread Versus Prioritized Enforcement
Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, Thitima Puttitanun, and Ana P. Martinez-Donate

Toxic Ties: The Reproduction of Legal Violence within Mixed-Status Intimate Partners, Relatives, and Friends
Deisy Del Real

Undocumented and Unwell: Legal Status and Health among Mexican Migrants
Amanda R. Cheong and Douglas S. Massey

Immigrants’ Experiences of Everyday Discrimination in Canada: Unpacking the Contributions of Assimilation, Race, and Early Socialization
Zoua M. Vang and Yvonne Chang

Book Reviews

Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change by Janelle S. Wong
Reviewed by Grace Yukich

Why Control Immigration? Strategic Uses of Migration Management in Russia by Caress Schenk 
Reviewed by Natalia Zotova

Domestic Economies: Women, Work and the American Dream in Los Angeles by Susanna Rosenbaum
Reviewed by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas

The Politics of Compassion: Immigration and Asylum Policy by Ala Sirriyeh
Reviewed by Steven W. Bender