Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Law & Society Review


As undocumented youths transition from arrival to adolescence to adulthood, regimes of migrant il/legality shape their lives in varying ways. Over the life course, undocumented youths' legal status may also shift, creating different “careers of il/legality,” sequences characterized by changes to legal status over time that re-shape self, mobility, and social roles. Longitudinal, comparative ethnographic data with undocumented male youths in Paris and New York and schools, municipal and civil society organizations show how shifts in legal status reshape youths' social identities based on access to institutional roles and evaluation of current and future conditions. Showing how undocumented youths simultaneously navigate deportation and regularization possibilities over time reveals the possibilities of, and constraints to, life after regularization.


Published Citation

Ruszczyk, Stephen P. 2021. “Moral Career of Migrant Il/Legality: Undocumented Male Youths in New York City and Paris Negotiating Deportability and Regularizability.” Law & Society Review, 55(3): 496-519.