Cornell Media Relations Office

Immigration plan pushback must include undocumented workers

Shannon Gleeson, a Cornell University professor of labor relations and an expert on low-wage and immigrant labor, says that resistance to Trump’s pronouncements on immigration has focused on one subgroup of refugees while disregarding others – such as low-wage workers from Mexico and Central America, already deeply marginalized.Bio: Gleeson says:

“Immigration policy is subject to a high degree of often arbitrary and politically motivated discretion by the administration, attorneys general and border enforcers.

“While much of the opposition to Trump’s executive orders on immigration has focused on the plight of political refugees and high skilled workers denied entry, we must also not forget the experience of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico, Central America, and other parts of Asia and Africa. The U.S. does not have a comprehensive policy to grant entry to most of these individuals fleeing economic deprivation and violence.

“There is a sense that undocumented workers who live and work among us are less deserving of our sympathy, especially if they have a criminal record. The civil offense they committed by crossing the border may be used against them as mark of ‘crime.’“This narrative fails to acknowledge that certain populations, such as young men of color, are disproportionally targeted by policing and are subject to structural inequalities that Trump’s proposed measures – and the unequal resistance to it – will only make worse.” For interviews contact:Rebecca Vallioffice: 607-255-7701cell: 607-793-1025[email protected] Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews. – 30 –