Surviving sin papeles in post-Katrina New Orleans: an exploration of the challenges facing undocumented Latino immigrants in new and re-emerging Latino destinations



The literature on Latino migration to new and re-emerging destinations has emphasised the advantages of settling outside gateway cities, especially with regard to employment and affordable housing, but less attention has been given to the challenges faced by Latinos in these areas of recent settlement, particularly by those who do not have legal permission to reside in the US. By examining the situation confronting undocumented Latino migrants in post-Katrina New Orleans, we provide insight into some of their difficulties. Using data from a quantitative/qualitative survey of post-Katrina Latino migrants conducted by the authors, this paper highlights the obstacles undocumented immigrants face in new and re-emerging Latino destinations because of their limited access to (a) US financial institutions, (b) a social and economic safety net, and (c) public transportation or a driver's license. It argues further that these issues pose challenges not only for recent undocumented Latinos arrivals themselves, but for the wider communities in which they are living as well. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.