Carol Cleaveland and Laura Kelly



Shared Social Space and Strategies to Find Work: An Exploratory Study of Mexican Day Laborers in Freehold, N.J.

Mexican migration became a polarizing political issue in election campaigns and the popular media in 2006, as massive immigration rights protests and anti-immigration citizen border patrols were organized across the United States. Though political debate has given migration a public face, less is known about the daily strategies used by migrants to mitigate hostility in predominantly white neighborhoods while seeking employment as day laborers. In this exploratory study, the authors use qualitative methods to examine the strategies of migrants to present themselves as clean, quiet, and orderly residents to avoid provoking largely unwelcoming local residents and law enforcement while seeking work.

day laborers, Mexico, social space

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 4 (2008): 51-65