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Latin American Migrations to the U.S. HeartlandChanging Social Landscapes in Middle America$
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Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037665

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037665.001.0001

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On Removing Migrant Labor in a Right-to-Work State

On Removing Migrant Labor in a Right-to-Work State

The Failure of Employer Sanctions in Oklahoma

(p.125) Chapter 5 On Removing Migrant Labor in a Right-to-Work State
Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland

Linda Allegro

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the anti-immigrant bill known as The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act (HB 1804), which sought to criminalize undocumented labor after a decade-long corporate recruitment strategy that solicited migrant labor under the premise of right-to-work. Of particular interest is the emphasis on the weak policy controls the legislation placed on employers while disproportionately penalizing migrants and their families. In this way it disentangles the inconsistent position of the “anti-illegals” narrative that espouses draconian measures penalizing undocumented migrants but has an unenforceable strategy for controlling the workplace, arguably the greatest draw of migrant labor. Such selective application of the rule of law demonstrates the veiled racism of the anti-illegals narrative and the dishonest nature of the professed goal of holding all parties responsible for the increase in undocumented immigration. Resulting from these paradoxes has been an increase in local law enforcement disciplining migrant bodies and lives in public spaces.

Keywords:   Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, HB1804, undocumented labor, migrant labor, racism, anti-illegals, undocumented immigration

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