Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies


The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act was created without representation on behalf of the immigrant population it is attempting the legislate. This study assesses not what the law is but what the law does. To understand the relationship of a group of immigrant workers to the federal legislation which targets them I conducted a participant-observation ethnography of day laborers at a public hiring site collecting information through informal interviews with male immigrant day laborers seeking employment. I will compliment this data with a content analysis of publications and solicitations by organizations actively lobbying in the immigration reform debate at the national level. Additionally, I will be reviewing existing literature surrounding the Senate's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (S. 2611), Title IV, Subtitle A- Temporary Guest Worker Programs, Section 401 through 414. Through an accurate representation of those who a Comprehensive Immigration Reform would affect, I am arguing that to humanize the current political controversy surrounding immigration is the only way to implement effective public policy. The findings of this study illustrate that the law instead of enforcing geopolitical lines of inclusion or exclusion have caused internal exclusion within the U.S. pushing an already marginalized minority population further onto the fringes of an already segmented labor force and society. This study is paramount in a discussion of current immigration patterns and trends, a contemporary look at transnationalism, and a crucial critique of the authenticity of concurrent legislative motions. The outcome of this bill will mediate future norms and understandings designating national proceedings in foreign policy, immigration, and our placement within the stratification of an increasingly globalized society. In effect, it is imperative we look critically and objectively at how the law manifests in our society, and the ways that immigration reforms are mediated and understood by the groups which they target.


Capstone Project (B.A.) Social and Behavioral Sciences Department