Mobilizing for Life: Illegality, Organ Transplants, and Migrant Biosociality

Jonathan Xavier Inda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter shows that undocumented migrants are deeply implicated in a politics of health and citizenship. It examines migrant health activism in terms of biosociality, a form of citizenship in which individuals and groups come together around a shared biological state or identification – a specific disease, corporeal vulnerability, genetic risk, embodied harm, somatic suffering, and so forth. The chapter takes up the notion of biosociality to understand how undocumented migrants mobilized around their biology to make citizenship claims. It emphasizes that this mobilization took place in a context where the illegality of the migrants served as powerful mobilizing force. Indeed, the migrants did not just mobilize around their biology, but also around their political status as undocumented migrants. What ultimately brought them together was the suffering undocumented body. Indeed, the biologically damaged and suffering "illegal" body served as crucial source of legitimacy for undocumented access to health care rights.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies
EditorsFrancisco A. Lomelí, Denise A. Segura, Elyette Benjamin-Labarthe
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315726366
ISBN (Print)9781138847873
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


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