Analyzing the rights of migrant workers who cross the U.S. southern border

May 9, 2011

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(Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Migrants from Oaxaca, Mexico, await hand-outs from a church group at a migrant camp, usually built in remote areas around farms.

The first of this month marked "May Day". Many only know May 1st as a Soviet celebration with a procession of tanks, missiles, and soldiers. But as many Chicagoans know, the day’s historic significance has to do with labor. Most nations still use it to celebrate the rights of workers.

Today we’ll reflect on May Day issues with a conversation rooted in the rights of migrant workers who cross our southern border.

Jacob Lesniewski is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. His research focuses on improving work conditions for immigrant and other low-wage workers. He’s also an organizer for the group Arise Chicago, an Interfaith group focused on worker issues. And Oscar Chacon is Executive Director of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities knows as (NALACC). Oscar’s dedicated to the pursuit of social and economic justice across borders, for migrant communities. Both participated last month in a conference at the University of Chicago titled, “Migrant Rights in an Era of Globalization: The Mexico-U.S. Case.”