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Christina Getrich releases "Border Brokers"

U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrant families develop resiliency and agency while bearing the scars of laws and policies

Around 16.6 million people live in mixed-status families, meaning that they are composed of U.S. citizens, residents, and undocumented immigrants. Faculty Associate Christina M. Getrich recently released her book Border Brokers that is based on ethnographic fieldwork that captures the deleterious effects of U.S. immigration practices on a group of young adults and their families. Border Brokers is a longitudinal examination of the lives of second-generation Mexicans who grew up in mixed-status families living in the San Diego-Tijuana borderlands as they transitioned from teenagers to young adults.

Dr. Getrich has identified how these individuals developed resiliency and agency to improve the living circumstances that immigrant communities have to face. Regardless of the hardship these families have encountered, children have developed into grounded and skilled brokers who use their knowledge, life skills honed in their families along with other abilities and competencies. The author notes the mature and engaged citizenship these children and adolescents have modeled as they turn into adults capable of contributing to create a better U.S. society.

In Dr. Getrich’s own words: “I embarked on this project to better understand the incorporation trajectories of the U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and quickly observed how profoundly immigration policies and border enforcement practices shaped their lives. These young adults bear the scars of these policies and practices that constrained their childhoods; however, as I followed them into adulthood, I saw that they emerged as skilled brokers who effectively leverage their local knowledge bases, problem-solving skills honed in their families, and transborder competencies for the benefit of their families, communities, and, ultimately, U.S. society.”

See The University of Arizona Press announcement about "Border Brokers"

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