Undocumented immigrant activists face enormous barriers. Over the past twenty years, national governments have become increasingly hostile to all immigrants, especially those without legal status. They have introduced far ranging reforms to enhance government capacities to detect, detain, and deport people. In addition to diminishing political opportunities, activists typically lack sufficient resources to sustain robust campaigns. And lastly, activists face important symbolic barriers. Nationals assume that the lack of citizenship deprives immigrants of the “right to have rights” within the polity. In spite of hostile conditions, undocumented immigrants have engaged in high levels of activism with varying degrees of success.
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