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Labor in the Time of Trump$
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Jasmine Kerrissey, Eve Weinbaum, Clare Hammonds, Tom Juravich, and Dan Clawson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501746598

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501746598.001.0001

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From Co-optation to Radical Resistance: An Examination of Organized Labor’s Response(s) to Immigrant Rights in the Era of Trump

From Co-optation to Radical Resistance: An Examination of Organized Labor’s Response(s) to Immigrant Rights in the Era of Trump

Chapter:
(p.149) 8 From Co-optation to Radical Resistance: An Examination of Organized Labor’s Response(s) to Immigrant Rights in the Era of Trump
Source:
Labor in the Time of Trump
Author(s):

Shannon Gleeson

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501746598.003.0009

This chapter tackles one of the most controversial issues of the Trump regime: immigration. Trump aggressively and unapologetically embraces an anti-immigrant agenda—focusing on Mexicans crossing the border, “chain migration” of families, and those arriving from Muslim-majority countries. The chapter examines how various union bodies have responded to the “immigration question.” It describes the labor movement's complicated history on this issue, including complex and sometimes inconsistent positions on undocumented workers, guest workers, and paths to citizenship. The chapter also finds that unions in locations that receive large numbers of immigrants have been forging sanctuary unions, advocating for inclusive policies, and negotiating fair contract language. Unions have worked against the Muslim ban and Islamophobia, and in support of refugees, often through involvement with interfaith coalitions. Despite the challenges and despite working people's complicated views, this chapter demonstrates that unions must adopt an intersectional lens and collaborate with community-based and advocacy organizations to build a progressive agenda in the age of Trump.

Keywords:   immigration, immigrant rights, undocumented workers, guest workers, sanctuary unions, labor unions, refugees, inclusive policies

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