Incomplete Inclusion: Legal Violence and Immigrants in Liminal Legal Statuses

29 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2015

See all articles by Leisy J Abrego

Leisy J Abrego

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Sarah Lakhani

American Bar Foundation

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

Although US political discourse suggests otherwise, no simple dichotomy separates “documented” from “undocumented” immigrants. By examining the integration prospects of immigrants in “liminal” legal standings beyond undocumented status but short of permanent residency, we demonstrate that even when they are legally present, the implementation practices of a multilayered immigration policy regime may cause them harm. Our analyses draw on 108 qualitative interviews with immigrants who have been granted humanitarian relief, including U Visa holders, beneficiaries of the Violence against Women Act provisions, political asylees, and Temporary Protected Status recipients. As a result of “legal violence,” these legally present immigrants remain vulnerable to blocked mobility, persistent fear of deportation, and instability, confusion, and self‐blame.

Suggested Citation

Abrego, Leisy J and Lakhani, Sarah, Incomplete Inclusion: Legal Violence and Immigrants in Liminal Legal Statuses (October 2015). Law & Policy, Vol. 37, Issue 4, pp. 265-293, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2661823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lapo.12039

Leisy J Abrego (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Sarah Lakhani

American Bar Foundation ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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