First Advisor

Brenda Glascott

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science




Undocumented workers, Mental health, United States Immigration, Detention, Deportation, Female head of households




Mexican undocumented women are essential in migrating in many households; they are often at the center of sustaining immigrant networks. When theorizing about the relationship between the legal categories of displaced people, the literature surrounding displaced people emphasizes the legal language that distinguishes individuals as refugees and forced migrants living in legal limbo lacking international protection. This state-induced structural violence against Mexican displaced people amplifies how forced migrants are navigating a legal situation that refuses to provide legal protection. Furthermore, the current publicized spectacles of migrant deportation, combined with migrants' internalized understanding that they may be deported at any time, keep this population deeply vulnerable. The purpose of this study is to document, analyze, and report on the sociopolitical climate concerning the federal immigration detention and deportation Trump regime and its effect on the Mental health and financial well-being of undocumented migrant mothers working in Oregon. Throughout the interviewed data analysis process, the study’s findings purposefully examine the critical role women play in building community and navigating through multiple state social services and programs as a means of self-empowerment. Therefore, this thesis paper further examines the increased levels of exploitation, economic and racial discrimination, and dispossession of Mexican women, particularly heightened due to their undocumented status. Nevertheless, to strengthen and validate the lived experience of the participants, the qualitative study encompasses specific aspects of the working conditions, mental and physical health, and safety of Latina immigrant mothers and their families.


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