Ukrainian labor migrants and their families: the case of a Carpathian village
The bulk of this category of migrants is made up of “commercial tourists” engaged in trading and other business operations abroad who cross the frontier repeatedly under the guise of “personal reasons”, quite often utilizing false invitations from foreign citizens, still necessary to get entrance visas and exit permits. It can be assumed also that this group conceals a good deal of job-searching migrants: according to some estimates, migrants looking for jobs abroad make up about half of the travelers for “personal reasons”.
The wives of migrants moved their families into roomy, two-story houses, preferably with small separate kitchens off one room. The average size and the net worth of the buildings owned by these women were twice that of those owned by women whose husbands remained at home. As soon as the families moved into their new homes, women began to replace their old furnishings with new, store-bought iron bedsteads, tables and dressers. In purchasing homes and furnishing them with rugs, lamps, and mirrors brought in from Palermo and Agrigento, these women took the initial steps to fulfill the dreams they had invested in migration [Reeder 2001: 388].