The Politics of Immigration, Labor and Food
Mexican immigrants have endured both physical and emotional trauma to cross the border into the United States, only to find themselves working in some of America’s most dangerous industries, like meatpacking.
On January 29, Paul Apostolidis will examine American immigration reform through the stories of immigrant meatpackers. He will explain how these immigrants protected themselves during hazardous factory work, how they democratized their union, and how, in partnership with local consumers concerned about food safety, they made the slaughterhouse safer for workers and consumers alike.
Apostolidis will argue that immigration reform should not only give immigrants new rights to reside here, but should also recognize the unique abilities of immigrants to strengthen American democracy and develop creative solutions to social problems that intertwine the fates of all.
Paul Apostolidis holds the Judge & Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He is the author of Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach Americans about Democracy.