Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture

Second Department

Latin American Studies

Reader 1

Marina Pérez de Mendiola

Reader 2

Andrew Aisenberg

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The Trump administration’s war on “illegal” migration centered migrant mothers and their children as the biggest threat to the ever-enduring “border crisis.” Migrant mothers who arrive at the border space with or without their children represent a new wave of migration in which the woman leaves the realm of domesticity in her home country seeking to better the economic situation of her family in another. To provide her family with a sense of bodily comfort by way of financial support, the migrant mother abandons her sense of self, anchored in her home country, where she comes into being having her “child on one side, and [her] parents on the other.” In her home, she represents motherhood through her connection to the people who surround her in her community and her family, particularly her mother. When the migrant mother leaves her homestead to begin a new life in a new place, she also leaves the “intergenerational interaction” of mothering. Being a mother in Latin America is largely based on how she herself was mothered. When she migrates to the United States, the mother takes her perception of the home “across contexts, producing a cultural dislocation with no history that is recognized as “natural.”” To build one’s sense of home around a moving entity, unfettered by traditional notions of property is to break away from the interests of the United States government, which maintain the structure of the nation through the traditional structure of the home. Migrant mothers are constantly asked to negotiate change, re-defining cultural paradigms that determine how motherhood is embodied.