This paper analyses microdata from three different sources in order to quantify the impact of the economic recession on undocumented migrants in Italy and to compare their labour market outcomes in recent years with the performance of native workers and documented migrants. This study provides evidence for the first time for a dramatic deterioration of employment outcomes and housing conditions of undocumented migrants during the economic crisis started in 2008. In particular, the reduction in the share of employed workers is about three times larger among migrants lacking legal status than among legally resident migrants. Differently from what observed for this latter group, among undocumented migrants the fall in employment is similar for women and men. If migrant workers are generally more vulnerable in the labour market than natives, the lack of legal status is associated with even higher exposure to the detrimental effects of economic downturns.