Mobilizing Against Inequality
Collective action is critical to the defense of immigrant workers, and to their struggles for better wages and working conditions.
Over the last month, the Trump administration has targeted immigrant communities by ignoring previously established deportation priorities, attempting to ban immigrants from Muslim majority countries, and stoking chaos and fear. In just the last week – amidst a series of high profile raids -- two individuals with DACA and a domestic violence victim has been taken into custody, and rumors are flying about plans to mobilize the National Guard. Yet, throughout this spectacle of state terror, advocates – including lawyers, students, faith leaders, and organized labor – are resisting. This month we highlight the important work of United We Dream, Freedom University, and the coalition of worker advocates who helped block the nomination of Andrew Puzder for Labor Secretary. We also provide two guides with practical tips for how to handle encounters with ICE and responsibly report their activity.
Mobilizing Against Inequality opens a new online conversation about immigrant workers – their struggles for rights and representation and the organizations that advocate for them. This project outlines case studies and identifies new networks and research documenting inspirational examples and strategies of immigrant mobilization and movement building. Learn more about Mobilizing Against Inequality→
Mark Bergfeld is based at Queen Mary University of London, School of Business and Management, specializing in research on immigration and labor unions and the comparative study of immigrant worker organization and the relationship to trade unions in Britain, Germany and the US. In this piece, Mark discusses Islamophobia and the labor market.
An interview with both the narrator, Rigo Valdez, and director, Valerie Lapin Ganley of “The Long Ride,” a documentary about the 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, which was recently screened in Ithaca as part of Union Days 2017 and will soon be screened in NYC.
The author of this guest post, Daniel Carrillo, is Executive Director of Enlace, a cross-border, multiracial coalition of low-wage worker centers, unions and community organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. They discuss the launch of Freedom Cities and tactics used by members of the New York Worker Center Federation to fight back against Trump's racist and anti-immigrant policies.
Mijente recently released “Expanding Sanctuary: What Makes a City a Sanctuary Now,” a report on the history and current status of sanctuary cities - and what steps could be taken to expand the concept of sanctuary beyond the status quo. The important resource includes specific policy priorities and recommendations for establishing and expanding sanctuary.
Tompkins County, home to Cornell University, has passed a bipartisan resolution making it a sanctuary county. While the resolution is significant, some advocates are questioning the effectiveness of sanctuary city policies in towns that adopt a "broken windows" approach to policing.