Negotiating survival: undocumented Mexican immigrant women in the Pacific Northwest

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

Publication Date



Current analyses of Mexico–U.S. migration theory generally are based on socioeconomic contexts and decision-making processes of male respondents. Further, limited data available on undocumented Mexican immigrant women mainly address the Mexico–U.S. border area, and adjacent U.S. urban centers. Our qualitative study focuses on undocumented Mexican immigrant women residing in central Washington State, where the regional economy is dominated by agribusiness development and dependent on immigrant and migrant farm labor. This paper assesses propositions of neoclassical economic and social capital theories of international migration in explaining the women’s migration decision-making processes. Project data indicate that while the Pacific Northwest has been a primary migration destination for sometime, it now may be increasingly a second-stage U.S. migration site, following initial migration to more traditional destinations such as California.


This article was originally published in The Social Science Journal. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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The Social Science Journal


Copyright © 2002 Published by Elsevier Inc.