Undocumented Migration and Brokerage: An Exploratory Network Analysis of the Brazil-US. Migration System

Dimitri Fazito, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional (CEDEPLAR)
Weber Soares, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais

We investigate the role that the intermediate agents (i.e. brokers) carry out in the international migration process of Brazilians to the USA. Considering that around 60% of the Brazilian immigrants in the US enter irregularly in the country, we aim to identify those "intermediates" that facilitate clandestine migration focusing the analysis on migrants' personal networks. We propose the exploratory social network analysis applied to the case study of Brazilian migration from Governador Valadares, the main outflow area of Brazilian migrants in irregular situation in the US. We analyzed the so-called "industry of illegal migration" and identified the social actors that intervene (i.e. brokerage) in the migration process – mainly the returned migrants and local middlemen. We try to find out how their roles and functions determine the clandestine migrants' flows, the crossing strategies at the US-Mexico border, and the probability of success of the Brazilian immigrants in the US.

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Presented in Session 52: Comparative Perspectives on Undocumented Workers