Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Illegal aliens-Massachusetts-Berkshire County-Social conditions, Immigrants-Massachusetts-Berkshire County-Social conditions, Illegal aliens-Services for-Massachusetts-Berkshire County, Immigrants-Services for-Massachusetts-Berkshire County, Undocumented, Undocumented worker, Immigrant, Illegal immigrant, Immigration, Berkshire County, Berkshire, Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts


This qualitative exploratory study attempts to understand how undocumented workers navigate living in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Berkshire County is known as a fairly liberal area of the state of Massachusetts. This can be observed through the most recent election turn out which was taking place during this study, where 84% of the total Berkshire active voting population voted for democratic primary candidates while 10% supported Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant sentiment. Observing this, more respectful treatment towards undocumented workers can be expected in this area. This study recruited 12 undocumented workers through a snowball non-probability approach. Each participant was interviewed in person about how they obtained and maintained work, found housing, and accessed medical care in Berkshire County. This study used critical race theory as a framework to understand the information gathered about the participant’s experience, such as perceived less pay, differential treatment compared to their American coworkers, and fear of taking sick time because of threats of losing their jobs.




iii, 80 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 66-70)

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