The Post-Deportation Desperation and Refunneling of Aspirations of the Mexicans Deported from the United States

in Transfers
Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna Sociologist

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This article uses Carling's aspiration/ability model and the social anchoring concept proposed by Grzymala-Kazlowska to explain the post-deportation experience of Mexicans deported from the United States of America. I analyze how deported people's aspirations are shaped by US migration policies and by their families, as well as by local community obligations. The data comes from seven years of longitudinal research in a rural community in Oaxaca. I conclude that under the immobility regime produced by the US for the deported Mexicans, their aspirations of remigration evolve into desperation. Often unable to remigrate to the US, they are stuck in a limbo of desperation until they refunnel their aspirations and anchor them in Mexico. At the same time, they resynchronize their life courses with other community members.

Contributor Notes

Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna is a sociologist researching the human consequences of deportation policies. She collected the life histories of the deported people in San Ángel over seven years and has published on their experiences in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and the Journal of Contemporary Archeology. In her current research, UK2deport, she aims to explain how the new immigration policies in the United Kingdom amplify the grounds for deportation of EU citizens compared to the relative freedom from deportation under the EU free movement that ended in 2020. She is coauthor of the books Ethnomorality of Care (Routledge, 2018) and Migrants as Agents of Change (Palgrave, 2017). E-mail:

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies


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