In this article, we take advantage of the quasi-experimental situation of the 2013 legalization program for Senegalese citizens in Argentina to study its effects on immigrant street hawkers’ incorporation into the formal labor market, their working conditions, social integration, and collective mobilization. In order to understand the impact of legalization programs, it is important to acknowledge that in informal labor markets, the effects of amnesties are likely less pronounced than in predominantly formal markets. Furthermore, the scope of socioeconomic rights granted to unauthorized migrants and migrants’ subjective expectations and aspirations need to be taken into consideration. Based on 50 in-depth interviews and a small N survey, our study suggests that the legalization effect on Senegalese street hawkers’ access to the formal sector is limited. However, legal status does benefit migrants’ subjective well-being and their disposition to engage in collective action for labor and human rights.
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