Mexicans and Central Americans in Eastern Europe: International Migration, Exploitation and Labor Practices in Poland

Giovanni Batz
Chicana and Chicano Studies
UC Santa Barbara

Since the 1990s, there has been an increasing number of Mexican and Central American migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who have migrated abroad to seek refuge and economic opportunities. Recently, companies and labor contractors have used social media to target Mexicans and Central Americans with job offers and refuge in Europe as an alternative to migrating as an undocumented person to the United States. Yet, migrants often fall victim to harsh working conditions and exploitation, leaving them in a vulnerable position due to transoceanic distance from their homes. 

The vast amount of research on Mexican and Central American migrants is focused on the United States since that is the primary destination for refuge and asylum. Thus, examining Eastern Europe as an unexpected destination provides a global perspective on migratory flows outside of the Americas, as well as concepts of racialization, neoliberal multicriminalism, migration, labor, belonging, and refuge for Mexican and Central American migrants. This project will collect data via ethnographic methods, produce academic articles, and be the basis for a longer-term research project on the subject.