Thursday, April 28, 2016
Immigration Article of the Day: Borderland attachments: citizenship and belonging along the U.S.–Mexico border by Heidy Sarabia
Borderland attachments: citizenship and belonging along the U.S.–Mexico border by Heidy Sarabia. Citizenship Studies, April 2016.
Abstract This article reveals how economic resources and legal status (vis-à-vis the U.S.) shape national attachments and citizenship practices in the context of the U.S.–Mexico border. Through the comparison of middle- and working-class Mexicans, this article highlights how middle-class Mexicans with tourist visas to travel to the U.S. develop what I call transborder citizenship, while deported working-class migrants – legally banned from returning to the U.S. – engage in what I call transnational citizenship. For middle-class Mexicans, transborder citizenship is exhibited through their frequent cross-border experiences and cross-border citizenship practices; however, they remain rooted locally in Mexico. In contrast, for working-class return migrants, transnational citizenship is defined by their restricted mobility even while they retain personal, social, and economic ties with the U.S. Ultimately, return migrants feel dislocated and uprooted in Mexico. The article uses data from observations and in-depth interviews with Mexican nationals living in the border town of Mexicali, Mexico, conducted from June 2009 to August 2010.