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Advancing the concept abjectivity, the authors interrogate how the biopolitics of citizenship and governmentality—surveillance, immigration documents, employment forms, birth certificates, tax forms, drivers’ licenses, credit card applications, bank accounts, medical insurance, car insurance, random detentions, and deportations—enclose, penetrate, define, limit, and frustrate the lives of undocumented 1.5-generation Latino immigrants (those who migrated at a young age).

This chapter offers up the conceptual heuristic of “regions of refuge” as a cross-border means of understanding the complex and dynamic processes responsible for the great growth and emergence of Mexican-origin populations in the United States. Such processes are transnational, national, and regional, but at their center are economic issues of production and labor that have their genesis in the nineteenth century and will continue to be important.

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