Roughly one-third of the foreign-born population residing in the United States is unauthorized, totaling nearly twelve million individuals. In the absence of changes in federal immigration law, current policies effectively relegate the unauthorized to a secondary status; labor market opportunities are often limited to low-wage jobs and informal employment and social mobility restrictions persist for both adults and children.
For an upcoming issue of the RSF online journal, sociologist Roberto Gonzales and economist Steven Raphael will organize a symposium featuring nine articles that examine the effects of federal, state, and local policy on immigrants’ experience of illegality. In particular, the authors will investigate the effects of illegality on various pathways to social mobility and the barriers created by this status to full civic participation in the country's institutions. Gonzales and Raphael will serve as the guest editors for this issue.