This exploratory study sought to examine the convergence of social exclusion, legal marginalization, and crime on undocumented migrant workers (UMWs). UMWs are low-wage laborers performing manual labor in the agriculture, construction, and retail sectors without valid employer-sponsored visas. Specifically using the case of Palisades Park, New Jersey, the purpose of this study was to examine five problem areas: the political economy of migrant labor, prevalence and patterns of criminal victimization against UMWs, prevalence and patterns of violence against women, police-migrant interactions, and criminal offending of UMW's.
A prospective design using mixed methodology was adopted for this study. The mixed methods study design included survey data generated from a non-random sample, focus groups, and key informant interview in Palisades Park, New Jersey. The study used both convenience and snowball sampling techniques to recruit 160 male day laborers and a 120 female undocumented workers for the initial survey.
A random sub-sample of 11 males and 7 females was recruited to take part in four separate focus groups.
In the final portion of the mixed methodological design written interviews were conducted with four key informants. Their narratives provided input for a situation analysis of basic issues and were used in conjunction with survey and focus group data to clarify the concerns and needs that were identified.
Both convenience and snowballing sampling methods were used to build this non-probability sample. Self-reported criteria for recruitment were: (a) aged 18 or over, (b) born in a Latin American country, (c) having entered US through land routes, and (d) remaining undocumented at the time of recruitment. Each study participant was given 30 dollars for completing a survey and given three uniquely numbered referral coupons with contact information of the principal investigator. Subjects were encouraged to refer eligible day laborers to the study and paid an extra 10 dollars for every successful referral they made. This sampling design generated a sample of 160 male day laborers and a 120 female undocumented workers.
From the total sample of 280 a random sample of 11 males and 7 females was recruited to take part in four separate focus groups. Participants were given 30 dollars to participate in a focus group interview. Lastly, written interviews were conducted with 4 key informants.
Undocumented migrant workers age 18 or over from Central America in Bergen County, NJ.
The survey questionnaire consisted of 104 master questions and 127 follow-up questions partly derived from the Spanish version of the National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS) designed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A few self-report items of criminal behaviors were adopted from the widely used self-report delinquency scale incorporated in the National Youth Survey series. In addition to these questions this study also incorporated questions revolving around contacts with the police from the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS). A subset of 4 questions were taken from the Primary Care Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PC-PTSD) Screen. Finally 8 items from the Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST) were used to gauge the extent of intimate partner violence among women UMWs.
- Primary Care Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PC-PTSD) Screen
- Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST)
- National Survey of Youth self-report delinquency scale
- Police-Public Contact Survey questions