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Standing at the intersection of immigration and welfare reform, immigrant Latin American women are the target of special scrutiny in the United States. Both the state and the media often present them as scheming "welfare queens" or long-suffering, silent victims of globalization and machismo. This book argues for a reformulation of our definitions of citizenship and politics, one inspired by women who are usually perceived as excluded from both.Weaving the stories of Mexican and Central American women with history and analysis of the anti-immigrant upsurge in 1990s California, this compelling book examines the impact of reform legislation on individual women's lives and their engagement in grassroots political organizing. Their accounts of personal and political transformation offer a new vision of politics rooted in concerns as disparate as domestic violence, childrearing, women's self-esteem, and immigrant and workers' rights.
Kathleen Coll is a Lecturer in Feminist Studies and Anthropology at Stanford University.