Latino Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 207–224 | Cite as

Gendering deportation, policy violence, and Latino/a family precarity

  • Beth Baker
  • Alejandra MarchevskyEmail author
Original Article


This paper develops a gender lens to analyze the effects of US deportation policy on immigrant families from Latin America. Whereas most research on deportation focuses on the deportees, we concentrate on their families who remain in the United States. We draw on our qualitative study of 125 families in Los Angeles, California, who have been separated from a close relative because of deportation. Golash-Boza and Hondagneu-Sotelo (Latino Stud 11(3):271–292, 2013) describe deportation as a “gendered racial removal system” because men from Mexico and Central America make up the vast majority of migrants who have been detained and deported by the US government since the mid-1990s. We argue that this gendered racial system disproportionately burdens Latina immigrants in the United States, and also that forced separation leads to changing gender practices and relations within these families.


Deportation Gender Immigration Policy Neoliberalism Family 

Deportación por género, política violenta y precariedad de las familias latinas


Este trabajo desarrolla un lente de género para analizar los efectos de la política de deportación estadounidense en las familias de inmigrantes latinoamericanos. Mientras que la mayoría de las investigaciones se centran en las personas deportadas, aquí nos enfocamos en las familias que permanecen en los Estados Unidos. Partimos de nuestro estudio cualitativo con 125 familias de Los Ángeles, California que han experimentado la separación de un familiar cercano debido a la deportación. Golash-Boza y Hondagneu-Sotelo (2013) describen la deportación como “un sistema de remoción en función de raza y género,” ya que los hombres de México y Centroamérica componen la inmensa mayoría de los inmigrantes que han sido detenidos y deportados por el gobierno de EE.UU. desde mediados de la década de 1990. Argumentamos que este sistema en función de raza y género crea una carga desproporcional para las inmigrantes latinas en los Estados Unidos y que, además, las separaciones forzadas conducen a cambios en las prácticas y relaciones de género dentro de estas familias.

Palabras clave

Deportación Género Inmigración Políticas Neoliberalismo Familia 



We wish to thank all the students who participated in small and large ways in this study, too many to name. The core group of graduate students that helped collect and analyze the bulk of the data merit special recognition: Ovidio Alvarez, Andreyna Baldenegro, Maria Teresa Borden, Eduardo Coronel, Victor Flores, Betania Santos, Uriel Serrano, and Paola Sicolo. We also thank the undergraduate students in Alejandra’s fall 2014 seminar on deportation who designed the original interview protocol: Nancy Aragon, Alex Ascencio, Ab Juaner, Karen Hernandez, Roberto Herrera, Josh Medellin, and Nina Torres.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State University, LALos AngelesUSA

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