Under what conditions will migrants mobilize and advocate for change in either their home country or their host country? Typically, migrant precarity is viewed as a hindering factor to migrant mobilization as migrants facing precarious situations are so concerned with their day to day livelihoods and survival that they do not have the time, energy, or resources to collectively organize. However, we argue instead that migrant precarity is a necessary condition for migrant mobilization. Necessity is the mother of invention and in times of extreme precarity, migrants have no other choice but to collectively organize to advocate for change. Using two case studies (Zimbabwean migrants in South African and Burmese migrants in Thailand) we demonstrate how precarity is mitigated by the home country context as well as the host country context, leading to variation in migrant mobilization.