Standard Article

Undocumented migrants: rights and advocacy

Migration A–Z


  1. Michele LeVoy and Kadri Soova

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm552

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Soova, M. L. a. K. 2013. Undocumented migrants: rights and advocacy. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Undocumented migrants are foreign nationals without the required legal status that authorizes them to stay in their country of destination. Many migrants enter a country of destination with a time-delimited visa, but the government views them as unauthorized if they stay longer than permitted. Migrants lacking authorization are ineligible for government programs that ensure them a basic standard of living and legal rights. Undocumented migrant workers frequently work precariously as day laborers, face arbitrary dismissal from their jobs, lack access to essential services, and are under a constant threat of deportation (Migrants Rights Centre Ireland 2007).


  • immigration;
  • labor;
  • labor supply;
  • poverty;
  • international agencies;
  • social justice