skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 227845 Find in a Library
Title: Re-Thinking Illegality as a Violence Against, Not by Mexican Immigrants, Children, and Youth
Journal: Journal of Social Issues  Volume:59  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:15-31
Author(s): Jocelyn Solis
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using case illustrations of Mexican immigrant children and youth who cross the U.S. - Mexican border illegally, this article illustrates how physical and psychological violence toward these children and youth are entwined with citizenship status.
Abstract: Based on ethnographic fieldwork that included participant observation of a grassroots organization in New York City during 1999-2000 and the tracing of Mexican immigrant youths' psychological development through societal and individual histories, this study documents how Mexican children and youth experience, understand, and discuss their illegal presence in America, the kinds of violence to which they are exposed and their response to it. The study concludes that U.S. institutions of power and policy, along with the media, foster a popular conception of undocumented immigrants as law-breakers and as threats to the socioeconomic quality of the country. This view of undocumented immigrants encourages both physical and psychological violence against them, which in turn precipitate violent behaviors by these children and youth. The organization examined in this study was Asociacion Tepeyac, a grassroots organization committed to defending the legal and human rights of Mexican immigrants in New York City. All members are volunteers who are primarily undocumented Mexican immigrants. Such community-based organizations can structure collaborative projects between families and schools so as to inform each other about common problems their children face and to design violence prevention programs that are culturally meaningful. Also, teacher education programs should include curricula that prepare educators to recognize the special needs of students from immigrant populations. Mexican families continue to settle permanently in the United States in spite of their undocumented status, so it is in the best interest of all communities to collaborate in preventing physical and psychological violence against and perpetrated by these young immigrants. 29 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Bias related violence; Immigrants/Aliens; Immigration offenses; Mexico; Violence causes
Note: For other articles in this issue,see NCJ-227844 and NCJ-227846-52.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.