Advancing Immigrant Worker Rights and Representation
The purpose of this website is to celebrate the contributions of immigrant workers to the economy and society of the United States – and around the world – and to honor and support their struggles for justice, rights and representation.
As a university-based project, we have contributions to make in research, education and public engagement. We look forward to posting and updating research findings, summarized to be of use for labor leaders, immigrant rights groups, policymakers, academics, students – anyone and everyone who is pushing back against the anti-immigrant rhetoric and realities of our time.
In a context of nationwide policy paralysis, hope for reversing ever growing economic inequality lies to a large extent in the revitalization of a modern, innovative labor movement. And indeed there is a new labor movement in the U.S., with traditional unions at the core, richly enhanced by a wide range of innovative groups that advocate for workers. Worker centers, immigrant rights groups and other organizations – often in close collaboration with labor unions – promote the interests of workers who otherwise lack representation, and many of these are immigrant workers.
The current anti-immigrant rhetoric creates an increasingly hostile environment that drives immigrants further into the shadows of our society and economy, where they lack basic labor rights and are vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers. Under these circumstances labor standards and protections, rights and representation, are at risk for all workers.
Revitalizing the labor movement means expanding coverage to unrepresented workers, to push up the low end and rebuild the middle, to restore fairness and equality of opportunity to today’s labor markets. Immigrant workers – and their children, the next generation – have a crucial role to play in a resurgence of worker rights and collective representation for all.
We encourage practitioners and researchers to join us in postings that will update and disseminate the latest findings and best practices, in support of immigrant workers and the organizations that represent them. Acceptance, inclusion and organizing of immigrants can make us a richer society, can accelerate the expansion of a proactive labor movement in the interests of all.
Please join the conversation!