Feb. 13, 2018 – President Trump’s highly anticipated budget proposal will include $23 billion devoted to building a border wall along Mexico’s border and increased investment in immigration enforcement. The move is yet another signal of the administration’s harsher line on immigration which Cornell University’s Shannon Gleeson, a professor of labor relations, law and history at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says will further a race to the bottom for U.S. workers.
Gleeson has studied the effects of various immigration policies on labor and employment protections and worked on a three-year long collaborative project to study how the DACA policy is implemented at the local level in Houston, New York City, San Francisco and San Jose and the impacts of Temporary Protected Status on immigrant workers. Gleeson says:
The concerns that U.S. employers have voiced regarding their ‘demand for foreign nationals’ is bound to be an important consideration for immigration policy. However, more importantly, it will remain critical for policymakers to consider how the current xenophobic policies being championed by the President and Republican leadership will further exacerbate workplace inequality. Restricting visa availability and the current ramp up in workplace enforcement actions (raids and audits) not only devastate the lives and well-being of immigrant workers, but also run contrary to efforts to hold employers compliant to federal and state labor and employment law.
The continued failure of Congress to address the needs of the 800,000 DACA recipients, the over 300,00 individuals set to lose temporary protected status, and the rest of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States is unacceptable, as are attacks on the diversity lottery, the refugee program, and long-held tenets of family reunification.
The racist focus on border militarization and no holds-bar deportation follows no logic of security, and is terrorizing immigrants and their families across the country and threatening the economic stability, educational opportunities, and mental and physical health of the communities in which they live and work.