Enforcement-oriented immigration programs have spread rapidly from the United States-Mexico border throughout the United States interior in recent years, intensifying the vulnerabilities of undocumented workers. In this article, we draw on our ethnographic research with undocumented workers and activists in the Chicago area to examine the expanded use of instruments such as E-Verify, No-Match letters, and federal-local enforcement collaborations. We consider how accelerated enforcement-oriented immigration policies affect the labor relations of undocumented workers in the Chicago area, and we also explore how immigrant labor leaders help workers ward off the short-term effects of punitive immigration policies as they organize for long-term immigration reform.

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