Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
American by PaperHow Documents Matter in Immigrant Literacy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kate Vieira

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780816697519

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816697519.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022



How Documents Matter in Migrants’ Lives

(p.1) Introduction
American by Paper

Kate Vieira

University of Minnesota Press

José is a Brazilian man who, at the time of our interview in 2008, had lived undocumented in the United States for twenty years. As a nurse in Brazil, he struggled to support his family, ultimately making the difficult decision to leave his wife and infant son for the United States in the hopes that his remittances from abroad could sustain them. When the tourist visa he used to enter the United States expired, he found himself unauthorized to work, reenter the country, or legally sponsor his family to join him. To make a modest living without a work permit, and to avoid the mistreatment he received from employers who exploited his legal status, he painted houses as an independent contractor. As we spoke, he took his wallet out of his paint-splattered overall pockets to show me his individual taxpayer number, describing the irony of paying taxes on money that he was forbidden to earn. He also showed me his driver’s license, expired in 1988, which he could not renew without a social security card. “Everything you want to do,” he told me, leaning over the table that separated us in the dark church hall where we conducted our interview, “you depend on a document you don’t have.” Having been reunited with his wife and son, who made the life-threatening illicit journey on foot across the Mexican border, he held out hopes for a moment of political amnesty. He held out for papers....

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.