Notes
Introduction
1. Eva is a rare exception: her brother was living in the United States at the time she
was in forced labor. We will learn that having family who live in the United States is
unusual for individuals who were trafficked into forced labor.
2. I use the term undocumented to describe individuals who do not have U.S. citizen-
ship, a green card, or any kind of work visa. I also have chosen to use the terms migrant
and migration rather than immigrant and immigration (other than when referring to U.S.
government policy) to move away from the negative associations that anti- immigration
activists and policymakers have attached to the language of immigration. The anthro-
pologist Patricia Zavella (2011: xiii) eloquently sums up this language choice: “By using
the neutral term ‘migrant,’ I contest the disparaging meanings of the terms ‘illegal
alien,’ ‘illegal,’ or ‘alien.’” She quotes Eithne Luibhéid on how the term migrant, which
“makes no distinction among legal immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, or undocu-
mented immigrants,” “do[es] not reflect empirically verifiable differences among
migrants, who often shift from one category to another. Rather, the distinctions are
imposed by the state and general public on migrants in order to delimit the rights that
they will have or be denied, and the forms of surveillance, discipline, and normaliza-
tion to which they will be subjected” (xiii, quoting Luibhéid 2005: xi).
3. Not only are those without documentation vulnerable to coercion. Many traffick-
ing cases in the United States have involved migrants with visas. A report by a working
group of workers’ organizations documents the abuses these low- wage workers (such
as in agriculture and landscaping) and higher- wage workers (such as in technology,
nursing, and teaching) endure (International Labor Recruitment Working Group
2013). Entering the United States on a “dizzying array of visas,” these international
workers, “regardless of visa category, employment sector, race, gender, or national ori-
gin” face “disturbingly common patterns of recruitment abuse, including fraud, dis-
crimination, severe economic coercion, retaliation, blacklisting and, in some cases,
forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage and human trafficking” (2013: 5).
One of the most notorious examples of abuse of recruited workers is the Signal Inter-
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