Webcast Recap

Podcast (Audio only)

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and Mexico Institute hosted the launch of:

Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration

By Marie Friedman Marquardt, Timothy J. Steigenga, Philip Williams, and Manuel Vásquez

With Panelists:

Timothy J. Steigenga, Professor of political science and chair of the social sciences and humanities, Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University

Philip Williams, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Professor of Political Science, University of Florida


Jacqueline Hagan, Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Donald Kerwin, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute

Moderated by:

Andrew Selee, Director, Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute

Living “Illegal” challenges the myths and misconceptions that circulate about unauthorized immigrants, reminding readers that there is a great deal more to understand about “illegal” than we hear in popular rhetoric. Based on years of research into the lives of ordinary migrants, Living “Illegal” offers richly textured stories of real people—working, building families, and enriching their communities, even as the political climate grows more hostile. Moving far beyond stock images and conventional explanations, Living “Illegal” challenges our assumptions about why immigrants come to the United States, where they settle, and how they have adapted to the often confusing patchwork of local immigration ordinances. The narrative takes readers into Southern churches, the fields of Florida, neighborhood day-labor centers, street protests, and back and forth across different national boundaries to tell the human stories behind unauthorized immigration, explore responses in various receiving communities, and suggest a path forward for the country’s otherwise frozen immigration debate.

Copies of the book may be ordered here.