Migration-Trust Networks: Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration

Migration-Trust Networks: Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration

Migration-Trust Networks: Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration

Migration-Trust Networks: Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration


In an important new application of sociological theories, Nadia Y. Flores-Yeffal offers fresh insights into the ways in which social networks function among immigrants who arrive in the United States from Mexico without legal documentation. She asks and examines important questions about the commonalities and differences in networks for this group compared with other immigrants, and she identifies "trust" as a major component of networking among those who have little if any legal protection.

Revealing the complexities behind social networks of international migration, Migration-Trust Networks: Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration provides an empirical and theoretical analysis of how social networks of international migration operate in the transnational context. Further, the book clarifies how networking creates chain migration effects observable throughout history.

Flores-Yeffal's study extends existing social network theories, providing a more detailed description of the social micro- and macrodynamics underlying the development and expansion of social networks used by undocumented Mexicans to migrate and integrate within the United States, with trust relationships as the basis of those networks. In addition, it incorporates a transnational approach in which the migrant's place of origin, whether rural or urban, becomes an important variable. Migration-Trust Networks encapsulates the new realities of undocumented migration from Latin America and contributes to the academic discourse on international migration, advancing the study of social networks of migration and of social networks in general.


About a month before I began writing this book, I was driving my children to school one morning and listening to the Spanishlanguage radio program “La Preciosa,” on 103.1 fm in Bryan and College Station, Texas. the talk-show host, “El Genio Lucas,” broadcasted a phone call he received from someone looking for a friend. the gentleman, who affirmed that he was an immigrant from Mexico, said:

“I am calling to see if you can make an announcement so I can find some
one. My name is José, and I am looking for a gentleman called Pancho, who
helped me when I arrived to the United States. Both of us lived in a small
town in Oklahoma about eight years ago, but I lost contact with him after
moving to another state two years ago, and now I cannot reach him because
I think he changed his phone number.”

El Genio Lucas asked, “And what is his last name?”

“I don’t know his last name. I never learned his last name during the three
years we lived together. All I know is that he helped me so much when I ar
rived to the United States, even though it was the first time we had met. He
provided me a place to stay, fed me while I was looking for work, bought
me clothes, helped me find a job … he did so much for me that I won’t ever
forget. I am very, very thankful for what he did for me, and I wanted to find
him again.”

El Genio Lucas then asked, “How is it possible that he helped you so
much, and you don’t even know his last name?”

“All I know is that his name is ‘Pancho.’ We called him ‘Pancho.’ I never
learned his last name even though we became very good friends with time. I
am very thankful for what he did for me and I need to find him again.”

He gave his phone number on the air so that “Pancho” could call him back, in case he was listening. El Genio Lucas then hung up and went to commercials. After the break, the radio host returned with the following comment:

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