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Parking lots and police: Undocumented Latinos' tactics for finding day labor jobs

Carol Cleaveland and Leo Pierson
Ethnography
Vol. 10, No. 4, SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE (PART ONE) – URBAN ETHNOGRAPHY: ITS TRADITIONS AND ITS FUTURE (December 2009), pp. 515-533
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24048134
Page Count: 19
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Parking lots and police: Undocumented Latinos' tactics for finding day labor jobs
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Abstract

Lacking access to legal residency and to regular employment, undocumented Latinos in the USA often find work as day laborers. Some suburban towns have tried to force Latinos out by enacting statutes to restrict their movement and their search for jobs. How do day laborers, who are conspicuous because of their racial-ethnic and language differences, find work by meeting employers in public spaces despite legal restrictions against their presence there? This comparative ethnography of day laborers in Freehold, New Jersey, and Manassas, Virginia, shows that workers engage such tactics as avoiding police and showing deference to white residents while battling for leverage when negotiating wages.

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