Undocumented immigrant workers now fear reporting their victimization to the authorities.
It started when a few nurses at Temple University Hospital told stewards that they weren’t being paid for their experience.
One of the first to speak up was Jessy Palathinkal, who had become a nurse in India in 1990. She got her U.S. nursing license when she moved here in 1995. But when she started working at Temple, her placement on the pay scale was as though those five years of nursing never happened.
She asked why. Human Resources told her the hospital didn’t count years of experience in foreign countries.
“I was feeling a little bit upset. I had all the certification,” Palathinkal said. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s not right, but what can I do?’”
What Palathinkal did was tell her shop steward. The steward told officers of their union, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP). And the officers started asking around to see whether anyone else was affected.
They put out a call in their monthly newsletter—did anyone else think that their pay was incorrect for their level of experience? Three more nurses had the same complaint.
Four nurses joined a class-action grievance. Management denied it. That’s when union officers decided this was a hospital-wide issue…..
Case Farms built its business by recruiting immigrant workers from Guatemala, who endure conditions few Americans would put up with.
Students from abroad have become a rich resource for many state colleges and their towns. But anti-immigration sentiment and policies could drive them away.
Source: Emine Fidan Elcioglu, Social Problems, Vol. 64 no. 2, May 2017
From the abstract:
How do perceptions of the state shape social movements’ strategies? Drawing on 16 months of participant observation and 70 interviews with activists in Arizona, this article illustrates how the politics of immigration plays out at the grassroots level as a struggle between expanding and restricting the state. Pro-immigrant activists in this study contended that the problem of undocumented migration resulted from the state’s unchecked coercive power. Experiencing this strong-state effect, pro-immigrant activists’ tactics focused on limiting the state’s reach and reinforcing society’s capacity to resist the state. Meanwhile, immigration restrictionist activists attributed the problem of undocumented immigration to the state’s feebleness as a policing entity. In response to this weak-state effect, restrictionist tactics tried to expand the state’s scope and build society’s ability to aid the state. The article concludes by discussing how the strong/weak-state effect framework helps illuminate the field of social relations in which an activist group is embedded and provides an avenue for exploring the relationship between state practices and social movements.
I had no money and spoke no English when I illegally crossed the border into California 23 years ago, but I worked hard and fought for the right to stay here.
Had I made that harrowing journey this year, I’m sure I’d be deported right back into the crosshairs of the Honduran government’s death squads that had targeted me and many other community organizers.
Instead I quickly won a grant of political asylum—and later received full American citizenship.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones. At the San Francisco hospital where I work, nine out of 10 members of my union are foreign-born. We never ask anyone about their immigration status, but I know several green card holders who are getting ready to apply for citizenship now that their place in America seems less secure.
People might think the Bay Area is one big protective cocoon for immigrants, but that’s not the case. The suburb where I live is not a sanctuary city. And my elected county sheriff contracts with the Department of Homeland Security to house people awaiting deportation hearings.
Who can my co-workers count on if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents come looking for them or their family members? Our union, thankfully…..
From the abstract:
The United States has a long and inglorious history of coercive state practices of social control that are motivated, explicitly or implicitly, by race. From chattel slavery to modern incarceration, state actors have regularly marginalized, demonized, and exploited people racialized as nonwhite. Immigration imprisonment—the practice of confining people because of a suspected or confirmed immigration law violation—fits neatly into this ignoble tradition. The United States’ half million immigration prisoners, who are overwhelmingly Latino, were almost all pushed and pulled to leave their countries of origin in part by policies promoted or supported by the United States. Yet, once here, Latin American migrants are relegated to a legal system that treats them as confineable based merely on their status.
Even worse is that the practice of immigration imprisonment, as designed and operated, has stripped migrants of their inherent dignity as humans and has instead commodified them into a source of revenue. For immigration prisoners, the prison operates as a means of segregation and stigmatization: immigration prisoners are segregated from the political community and perceived to be dangerous. For other migrants who, for the time being at least, avoid imprisonment, the prison symbolizes the state’s brute power. For the vast network of interested parties who have invested deeply in immigration imprisonment, the prison marks the location of production. Paid according to the number of people locked up, private prisons and local governments profit from human bondage. Meanwhile, opportunistic politicians reap political rewards by pointing to barbed wire perimeters and sizeable prison populations as evidence of their efforts to protect the nation.
This Article is the first to argue that immigration imprisonment is inherently indefensible and should be abolished. The United States should instead adopt an alternative moral framework of migrants and migration that is grounded in history and attuned to human fallibility. Doing so will help discourage harmful immigration rhetoric steeped in myths of migrant criminality and will foster better understanding of migrants and their reasons for coming to the United States.
The main findings of this brief are as follows:
• Nationwide, about 16.7 million people in the country have at least one unauthorized family member living with them in the same household.
• More than 8 million U.S. citizens, of which 1.2 million are naturalized citizens, have at least one unauthorized family member living with them.
• More than 5.9 million citizen children, U.S. born and naturalized, live with at least one family member who is unauthorized.
• California, Texas, and Nevada, are the top three states that will be most heavily affected by an anti-immigrant policy because they have the highest percent of U.S.-born population with at least one unauthorized family member living with them.
• But even states with smaller immigrant populations, such as Nebraska, Arkansas, and Kansas, will also be affected, because they have high percentages of naturalized citizens who have unauthorized family members living in the same household.
Interactive: State-by-State Estimates of the Family Members of Unauthorized Immigrants
Analysis of amended data from a large e-scale Canadian employment audit study (Oreopoulos 2011) shows that large employers with over 500 employees discriminate against applicants with Asian (Chinese, Indian or Pakistani) names in the decision to call for an interview, about half as often as smaller employers. The audit involved submission of nearly 13,000 computer-generated resumes to a sample of 3,225 jobs offered online in Toronto and Montreal in 2008 and 2009 for which university-trained applicants were requested by email submission. An organization-size difference in employer response to Asian names on the resume exists when the Asian-named applicant has all Canadian qualifications (20% disadvantage for large employers, almost 40% disadvantage for small employers) and when they have some or all foreign qualifications (35% disadvantage for large employers, over 60% disadvantage for small employers). Discrimination in smaller organizations is most pronounced in considering applicants for jobs at the highest skill levels. As well, whereas the Asian-name disadvantage is overcome in large organizations when the applicant has an additional Canadian master’s degree, this is not the case in smaller organizations. It is suggested that large organizations discriminate less frequently because they have more resources devoted to recruitment, a more professionalized human resources recruitment process, and greater experience with a diverse staff complement. Experimentation with anonymized resume review may be an inexpensive way that organizations can test their own hiring procedures for discrimination.
Asian Last Names Lead To Fewer Job Interviews, Still
Source: Jenny J. Chen, NPR, February 23, 2017
Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes
Source: Philip Oreopoulos, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 3, no. 4, November 2011
Source: John Bound, Gaurav Khanna, Nicolas Morales, NBER Working Paper No. 23153, February 2017
From the abstract:
Over the 1990s, the share of foreigners entering the US high-skill workforce grew rapidly. This migration potentially had a significant effect on US workers, consumers and firms. To study these effects, we construct a general equilibrium model of the US economy and calibrate it using data from 1994 to 2001. Built into the model are positive effects high skilled immigrants have on innovation. Counterfactual simulations based on our model suggest that immigration increased the overall welfare of US natives, and had significant distributional consequences. In the absence of immigration, wages for US computer scientists would have been 2.6% to 5.1% higher and employment in computer science for US workers would have been 6.1% to 10.8% higher in 2001. On the other hand, complements in production benefited substantially from immigration, and immigration also lowered prices and raised the output of IT goods by between 1.9% and 2.5%, thus benefiting consumers. Finally, firms in the IT sector also earned substantially higher profits due to immigration.
Using H-1B Visas To Help Outsource IT Work Draws Criticism, Scrutiny
Source: NPR, All Things Considered, February 13, 2017