Natalie D. Jones
There are some 11 million US-based illegal immigrants, a figure that grows year on year. The issue has become a political hot-potato in the United States this summer. President Obama’s promise of immigration reform is crumbling under intense pressure from a surge in immigration and hard-line Republican opposition. But, what of the migrants themselves? In this featured case Natalie D. Jones explores undocumented migration in Barbados, placing the experience of migrants at the centre of the research design and analysis. Jones gives advice on facing up to the inevitable challenges of working with undocumented people and concludes that flexibility is vital to study hard-to-reach populations. If you are interested in the human side of the immigration debate and are considering your own research on this topic, we encourage you to read this case! You will learn about accessing the field, insider/outsider status, data gathering through interviews and archival sources, and the challenges of synthesizing and analysing your data.