Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


She is Somebody: The Care and Labor of Undocu/DACAmented Mothers Public Deposited

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  • This thesis is an offering, request, testimonio, refusal, and compliance to the discipline of anthropology and higher education. In this thesis, I engage with different forms of storytelling to highlight the relationships of mixed-status families in the United States. To accomplish this, I draw on the experiences of my mother and sister. I offer my own reflections as a scholar-activist and ‘model immigrant,’ a label which I resist. By employing multimodal-multisensory ethnographic methods, I convey a different kind of anthropology – an accessible anthropology. As I push for this new method of engagement, I also argue against the narrative of high achieving undocumented/Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scholars as the only undocumented immigrants deserving of dignity, respect, and acceptance. I ask allies and supporters of immigration reform to think expansively, about marginalized low wage-earning undocumented women silenced and left out of the discourse. I ask for immigration advocacy to consider women that produce so-called exemplary immigrant children. I explore the labor and care that my mother and sister demonstrate in order for me to advance and gain recognition, even when it comes at their own exclusion. By inserting myself in this project, I aim to make sense of my own thoughts and feelings of acceptance and rejection. It is through exploratory means that I am able to better understand the borders I encounter as a Mexican-born and “American-raised” racialized immigrant. Through poetry, film, letters, and essays I gift a new “model” for anthropology, one that unsettles the established convention. By applying feminist methodologies and experimental ethnographic methods, I challenge the system that has recognized me, asking that it also recognize and care for my mother and sister.
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