The Labor Reform And Control Act Of 1986 ( Irca )

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The informal economy comprises of work activities that involve a small number of workers, irregular work hours, income that is paid in cash and even, unregulated by the law. The gender binary is the classification of gender into distinct notions of feminine and masculine. Both the concepts of the informal economy and the gender binary is significant in the case of my research paper because employer exploitation is made possible due to the loopholes in the binary-infused immigration policies that limits the employment of immigrant women and imposes a hierarchal structure onto them. The research questions I plan on investigating are: How did the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) affect the lives of immigrant women in the informal economy of the United States? How did immigration policies like the IRCA fail to address (and to a certain extent, result in) the oppression of immigrant women in the informal economy? Therefore, in an effort to target these research questions, I will be analyzing two fundamental principles of the IRCA through the published work of anthropologist Leo R. Chavez and Associate Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies Estevan T. Flores in “In Defense of the Alien.” The IRCA was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986. The IRCA has two major components: foremost, “undocumented immigrants, in order to be eligible for the legalization program, must have entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 1982 and second, “undocumented workers employed after November 6, 1986 (the date the IRCA became law) must be able to prove to their employer that they are eligible to work.” This law favors employers, in a way, as they do not face penalties if their immigrant employees were hired before N... ... middle of paper ... ...xes. This comparison with male immigrants helps to illustrate my point that employer exploitation works at a different degree with immigrant women, as Prokhovnik points out that “men cope in an ad hoc way” to the pressures of work when compared to women who have to deal with additional labor, which include mental or emotional labor. However, since the focus of my paper will be to address the conflicts faced by immigrant women, discussions surrounding their male counterparts will only be regarded as counterarguments. In addition, a discussion worthy of mention in my research paper is simply the relationship between the biological differences between men and women and the distribution of immigrant men and women in their respective informal economies, with the former typically involved in manual or hard labor while the latter in labor that is less physically-demanding.
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