Bureaucracies' Role in Family Reunification in an Era of Deportation: The Case of the Carolinas Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Peavey, Alyssa
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Migration and family scholars have discussed family separation as a consequence of the U.S. deportation regime, but they have scarcely addressed how these families can be reunified. My research integrates the literatures on immigrant families, the sending state, and bureaucracies to analyze the role of a Mexican consulate in developing and participating in binational networks in order to reunify families separated by deportation. I also investigate the role of institutional gatekeepers and brokers in facilitating or inhibiting reunification. I draw on a sample of Mexican consular files pertaining to child custody cases involving the detention or deportation of a parent, as well as interviews with consular staff and other advocates. I find that consular staff can serve as brokers, helping to overcome the many barriers to reunification by connecting, orienting, and educating various actors. However, caseworkers in the consulate and child welfare agencies may also act as gatekeepers inhibiting reunification.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Pearce, Lisa D.
  • Richardson, Liana
  • Hagan, Jacqueline
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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