Law of the Land, Law of the Lord: How Latino Immigrants Manage Immigration Enforcement and How Religion Helps them Cope

Garcia-Romo, Leticia [Browse]
Senior thesis
101 pages


Telles, Edward [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year
Restrictions note
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note
Given a context of record numbers of deportations, how do immigrants manage this constant risk of deportation? Through face-to-face interviews with 19 Latino immigrants conducted from November 2012 to February 2013 in Salinas, CA and Princeton, NJ, I analyze how immigrants fear and understand immigration enforcement, what strategies they employ in order to reduce the risk and fear of deportation, and what role they believe religion plays in this process. Rather than just fearing removal, immigrants worry about the wellbeing of their families. They are highly conscious of the way they behave, refraining from crime and vices. Consistent with other studies, immigrants employ strategies such as saving in order to cope but no one strategy puts them completely at ease. Finally, religion continues playing a role in the immigrant experience years after arrival, providing communal and moral support and material, economic, and spiritual resources in times of hardship and fear.

Supplementary Information