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Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies 1–12 © 2018 SAGE Publications Article reuse guidelines: sagepub.com/journals-permissions DOI: 10.1177/1532708618817880 journals.sagepub.com/home/csc Original Article For more than a decade, critical migration scholars have traced the ways increasingly restrictive immigration con- texts frame undocumented migrants’ social and material conditions, as well as shape their everyday psychosocial and existential experiences (Abrego, 2006; De Genova, 2002; Gonzales, 2011, 2016; Gonzales & Chavez, 2012; Menjívar & Kanstroom, 2014; Suárez-Orozco, Yoshikawa, Teranishi, & Suárez-Orozco, 2011; Willen, 2007a, 2007b). Due to bar- riers stemming from their immigration status, undocumented migrants live in limited and precarious conditions that mark their lives with uncertainty about their future, fear and anxi- ety of apprehension and deportation; shame and guilt about their status; and vigilance toward others who may under- mine their positions. Furthermore, to cope with their daily concerns, undocumented migrants often develop common self-disciplinary practices that help them manage their fears and uncertainties (Coutin, 2003; Ellis & Stam, 2017a). Given the complexity of undocumented migrants’ experi- ences, scholars maintain that migrant “illegality” is not merely an immigration status or sociopolitical condition (De Genova, 2002, p. 419). Rather, as anthropologist Sarah Willen (2014) maintains, “It is both of these and a dynamic mode of being-in-the-world” (p. 88; original emphasis). Following other scholars working in this area, we leave “ille- gality” in quotes to highlight the sociopolitical constitution of undocumented migrants’ experiences. In the United States, contradictions between protections and spaces of inclusion for children, and simultaneous increasingly restrictive immigration policies and expanding legal and institutional protections, have produced a popula- tion of more than 2.1 million undocumented immigrant youth and young adults (Batalova & McHugh, 2010). These individuals are integrated into neighborhood schools and community life during their childhood years, only later to confront a growing number of exclusions in adolescence and adulthood (Gonzales, 2016). Given their distinct legal, sociopolitical, and existential circumstances, undocu- mented youth and young adults experience a unique form of “illegality” shaped by the specific contours of their immi- gration status (Gonzales & Burciaga, 2018; Gonzales & Chavez, 2012). This manner of being in the world is most acutely expe- rienced and felt toward the onset of adolescence when young immigrants’ relationship to legal structures changes and comes to play a defining role in their adult lives. Beginning around the age of 16, when peers begin to take after school jobs, obtain driver’s licenses, and make plans for college, undocumented youth experience a dramatic separation from peers as they find they are unable to join them (Abrego, 2006). These critical “turning points” set in motion a series of changes that narrowly circumscribe 817880 CSC XX X 10.1177/1532708618817880Cultural Studies <span class="symbol" cstyle="symbol">↔</span> Critical Methodologies Ellis et al.

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