Laura A Leisinger

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

South Florida, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9828

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Leisinger, Laura (South Florida, U. of) "Wellbeing and Precarity of Haitian TPS Recipients in South Florida"

LAURA LEISINGER, then a graduate student at University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, was awarded a grant in April 2019 to aid research on “Wellbeing and Precarity of Haitian TPS Recipients in South Florida,” supervised by Dr. Kevin A. Yelvington. Haitian migrants in the United States are part of complex local and transnational networks of belonging, and socioeconomic ties, and simultaneously experience ongoing economic exploitation and anti-Haitian stigma that negatively affects wellbeing. Following the November 2017 cancelation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians and the ensuing surrounding legal battles fighting its removal, Haitian TPS-recipients faced ongoing uncertainty about the future because of their precarious legal status. This study explores how rapidly changing migration policy and governance is conducted, interpreted, and experienced as migrants engage it on the ground, and how this reveals the state as a changing, multifarious entity. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews between 2019 and 2021 with Haitian TPS-recipients and their communities in South Florida, it explores how project participants coped with and responded to migration policy. It examines how TPS-holders interacted with state policy and actors and migration policy’s impact on wellbeing. Using a feminist precarity analytic, its findings speak to ways that state sovereignty and policy are interpreted and contested. In examining multiple forms of encounters with the state’s practices, functions, and effects, the findings understand the state not as a bound institutional entity, but a set of processes that differentially create vulnerability.