Still on the Border: The Fractured Membership Rights of the Undocumented Worker
Clark Memorandum, Spring 2010, at 19.
8 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2020
Date Written: April 1, 2010
The United States workforce includes over eight million undocumented immigrants. They work in the shadows to evade deportation, and they accept jobs and working conditions that their documented counterparts will not accept. As invisible as their day-to-day work may be, undocumented workers are an integral, though unsanctioned, part of the U.S. economy. They build our houses, tend our crops, and slaughter our livestock. They help satiate the American craving for affordable abundance. At the same time, unauthorized immigrants are not supposed to be here, and their mere presence undermines our understanding of community and membership. Relied upon but unwelcome, among us but uninvited, undocumented workers labor on the border of inclusion and exclusion and are the subjects of a series of challenging questions: Should undocumented workers enjoy the same workplace protections that authorized workers enjoy? When and how much should immigration status matter? Does being here count for anything? Who belongs?
Keywords: immigration law, undocumented immigrants, citizenship, membership rights
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