Invisible Victims: Undocumented Migrants and the Aftermath of September 11*

Alexandra Délano, Benjamin Nienass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article examines the processes of investigation and gathering evidence about victims of the September 11 attacks to better understand the inability of state and nonstate institutions to effectively deal with the invisibility of undocumented migrants in terms of providing assistance and recognition at a moment of tragedy. The failure to make the invisible visible or to address the very question of visibility publicly is explained by three major reasons: 1) A general fear of coming forward on the part of undocumented migrants or their families, partly as a result of their legal status and their lack of trust in government agencies, which was compounded by ineffective communication about available relief services; 2) different procedural requirements and logics of evidence used by government and nongovernmental relief agencies, which, in some cases, made it impossible for undocumented migrants or their families to provide proof of their presence at the site or employment in the businesses affected; 3) the context of 9/11 as a disruptive event that influenced the overall climate in which issues of victimhood and immigration status could be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-421
Number of pages23
JournalPolitics and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • 9/11 memorial
  • 9/11 victims
  • September 11
  • World Trade Center
  • undocumented migration


Dive into the research topics of 'Invisible Victims: Undocumented Migrants and the Aftermath of September 11*'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this