Gendered Paths to Legal Citizenship: The Case of Latin-American Immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona
Law & Society Review 46 (2): 335-368, 2012
35 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2013
Date Written: 2012
In this paper we seek to contribute to a greater understanding of legal citizenship by exploring the gendered experiences of Latin-American-origin immigrants in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area as they go through the legalization process. To explore this gendered angle we rely on in-depth interviews conducted from 1998 through 2008 with women and men from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico. The data reveal that although immigration policies and procedures are presumably gender neutral, they are in fact inflected with gendered meanings and enacted in gendered social structures. Gender ideologies permeate the processes to differentially affect the legalization, permanent legal residence, and citizenship processes of immigrant women and men. This article points to key gender inequalities in immigration law.
Keywords: gender, legalization, Latin American immigrants, Phoenix, Arizona, citizenship
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation