International Migration, Domestic Work, and Care Work: Undocumented Latina Migrants in Israel

Rebeca Raijman*, Silvina Schammah-Gesser, Adriana Kemp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article discusses three major dilemmas embedded in women's labor migration by focusing on undocumented Latina migrants in Israel. The first is that to break the cycle of blocked mobility in their homelands, migrant women must take jobs that they would have never taken in their countries of origin, despite uncertainty about possible economic outcomes. The second dilemma is that the search for economic betterment leads Latina migrants to risk living and working illegally in the host country, forcing them to remain on the margins of society. The third dilemma relates to the role of mothers who, to secure a better future for their children, are forced to leave them behind, thus subverting the traditional definition of motherhood. The absence of an egalitarian notion and the practice of citizenship for non-Jews leave undocumented labor migrants in Israel without prospects for incorporation into the society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-749
Number of pages23
JournalGender and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Domestic work
  • Globalization
  • Labor migration
  • Latinas
  • Transnational motherhood


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