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“Shadowed Lives-Undocumented Immigrants in American society.” is a beautiful blend of scholarly study with artistic craftsmanship. Shadowed Lives describes the lives and experiences of undocumented immigrants in San Diego throughout 1980s. This time period is marked with substantial changes that are specific to undocumented migrants especially the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 that imposed new restrictions on these immigrants. Chavez has documented the impact of this Act and other policies on immigration processes and lives of these immigrants. Chavez further tried to locate the motives of undocumented migrants to migrate to United States instead of IRCA that reduced the incentives for immigration to a great extent.Another interesting feature of this book is that Chavez has organized its chapters to an analogy to the process of undocumented migration. First chapter, The Setting, explores the geography-bound relocations of these migrants after they reach America. He further illustrates that these migrants live at the periphery of American society and are deprived of all basic provisions of life. They devise their own meanings of subsistence and carve their own community and socio-cultural milieu. Next chapter, “Separation and “Crossing Border”, are epitome of the actual migration processes and Chavez depicts these processes in minute details.  Later chapter depicts their conversion to an undocumented character. Chavez illustrates that during this transition, threes undocumented immigrants has to face or even suffer from the reactions of host community, both at the social and official level. He further describes an amazing fact that during their shifts from far-off areas to the suburban slums of mega cities, these immigrants survival is dependent of their ability to remain imperceptible.In the next chapters, Chavez has documented the life experiences and dilemmas of these immigrants in detail. For this purpose he does not rely on secondary sources but conducted response survey and interview to get the first hand accounts and narratives these undocumented immigrants. He describes their social lives, their pursuit of work and their efforts for cultural adjustments into the mainstream American cultural set-up. Gender issues are also taken into considerations and Chavez tried to explore the feminine as well as the masculine domain of this “undocumented life”. For this reason, he pays special attentions to the problems of women who are placed in different context than their men. The concluding chapter illustrates their endeavors for assimilation into American society and final merger. This assimilation denotes a major cultural change that these immigrants have to experience. Chavez further points out that the second generations of these immigrants are in a fuss to locate the true attitudal identity of their parents. Same contradictions appear in the parents concern about their children’s affiliation with United States.In addition to above-mentioned anthropological accounts, Chavez employs a number of literary tools to make the study attention-grabbing. In the middle of an intricate argument, he introduces some lines or a single quote from popular sings to produce a real scenario. Another characteristic of his study is the provision of information.and data from the horse’s mouth and does not rely on secondary sources and conventional models of immigrations studies. Leo Chavez has merged anthropological case studies with narrative accounts of a literary importance. 

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