Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Undocumented Immigrants and Quality of Life in New Mexico and Arizona Colonias

Angela Donelson, Adrian X. Esparza


Recent legislation aims to stop the northward flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States by creating amnesty and formal guest worker programs and by increasing the "deterrent effect" at the border. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) contained similar policies, and subsequent research tells us much about what to expect from proposed "reforms." However, virtually no research has considered how immigration reforms have played out at the local level. This holds especially for colonias that line the border from Texas to California. We respond to this deficiency by examining how the 1986 IRCA affected undocumented immigration and quality of life in unincorporated colonias of Arizona and New Mexico. We find that the IRCA legislation did little to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants to Arizona and New Mexico colonias and led the rise of deprivation.

Full Text:


All rights reserved
Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229