This Is How We Can Defend Migrants Coming to the Border

U.S. President Donald Trump is stoking fear over a new migrant caravan from Central America, claiming to have “alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy [sic].” Amid this environment, we are re-posting a piece from 2009 about the need for comprehensive labor legislation to protect migrants and immigrants, who are some of the most exploited workers in the United States.

What if lawmakers had the guts to create comprehensive labor legislation for immigrants, enshrining their rights in accordance with international law? What if our legal system recognized immigrants’ freedom of movement, shielded families from unnecessary separation, and allowed real recourse against exploitative employers?

We should know better, of course, than to expect anything approaching that from Capitol Hill, where the hobbling immigration debate is dictated by business interests and xenophobia.

So, it’s a good thing such a law has already been drafted for them. Years ago, in response to the growing intersection between human rights and labor migration, the United Nations developed the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.



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