New Article: “Riding the Wave: Uplifting Labor Organizations Through Immigration Reform”

New Article: Jayesh Rathod, Riding the Wave: Uplifting Labor Organizations Through Immigration Reform, 4 UC Irvine L. Rev. 625 (2014).  Abstract below:

In recent years, labor unions in the United States have embraced the immigrants’ rights movement, cognizant that the very future of organized labor depends on its ability to attract immigrant workers and integrate them into union ranks. At the same time, the immigrants’ rights movement has been lauded for its successful organizing models, often drawing upon the vitality and ingenuity of immigrant-based worker centers, which themselves have emerged as alternatives to traditional labor unions. And while the labor and immigrants’ rights movements have engaged in some fruitful collaborations, their mutual support has failed to radically reshape the trajectory of either cause.

In this Article, I argue that the ongoing legislative debates around immigration reform provide a unique opportunity to reimagine and revitalize traditional organized labor and to strengthen newer, immigrant-centered worker organizations. In my view, this can be accomplished by positioning unions and worker organizations as key actors in immigration processes (for both temporary and permanent immigration) and in any likely legalization initiative. Their specific roles might include sponsoring or indirectly supporting certain visa applications, facilitating the portability of employment-related visas from one employer to another, offering training opportunities to meet immigration requirements, assisting with legalization applications, leading immigrant integration initiatives, and more.

Apart from the instrumental objective of attracting immigrants to the ranks of unions and worker organizations, this set of proposals will position these institutions as sites where the virtues of leadership, democratic participation, and civic engagement can be forged in new Americans. Indeed, these virtues coincide with the founding values of most U.S. labor unions; to the extent some unions have strayed from these values, the proposals provide an external imperative to reorient and rebrand unions as core civil society institutions. Moreover, immigrant worker centers have already become known for their focus on leadership development, democratic decision making, and civic education, and are therefore uniquely positioned to play this role. This convergence of utilitarian and transcendent objectives, in the current sociopolitical moment, justifies a special position for unions and worker organizations in the U.S. immigration system.

Op-ed about the Bailout of Note: “Finally, the Truth About the A.I.G. Bailout”

Op-ed about the Bailout of Note: Noam Scheiber, Finally, the Truth About the A.I.G. Bailout, N.Y. Times, Sept. 28, 2014.

News Article: “As LA considers raising minimum wage, workers wonder how much it would help”

Chris Kirkham and Tiffany Hsu, As LA considers raising minimum wage, workers wonder how much it would help, L.A. Times, Oct. 14, 2014.

Wonkblog Post: Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong – The Washington Post

Here: Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong – The Washington Post.

Call-for-Papers: “Policing, Protesting, and Perceptions: A Critical Examination of the Events in Ferguson”

From the Legalscholarshipblog.com:

The University of Missouri Law Review is issuing a call for proposals for an upcoming Works-in-Progress conference, which will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2015, in conjunction with the Missouri Law Review’s Symposium, which will take place the following day Friday, February 27, 2015.

The symposium, “Policing, Protesting, and Perceptions: A Critical Examination of the Events in Ferguson,” focuses on a number of issues that arose from the events in Ferguson, Missouri this past August following the shooting of Michael Brown.

Works-in-progress panels will be held related to the subject matter of the symposium. Presentation proposals should be no more than one page in length. The topic of the presentation can include analyses that are practical, theoretical or interdisciplinary in nature relating to what transpired in Ferguson, MO.  Proposals from scholars outside the United States are also welcome, although prospective attendees should note that there is no funding available to assist participants with their travel expenses.

Proposal Deadline: November 15, 2014.  Those interested may submit proposals and direct questions to Professor S. David Mitchell (MitchellSD[@]missouri.edu).  Decisions regarding accepted proposals will be made by December 1, 2014.

Roundtable: “Re-evaluating the “Culture of Poverty””

Here: Re-evaluating the “Culture of Poverty” » The Society Pages [featuring Mark Gold, Kaaryn Gustafson, and Mario Luis Small].

New Book: “The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood”

FinalLongShadow-AlexanderNew Book: Karl Alexander et al., The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood (2014).  Overview below:

West Baltimore stands out in the popular imagination as the quintessential “inner city”—gritty, run-down, and marred by drugs and gang violence. Indeed, with the collapse of manufacturing jobs in the 1970s, the area experienced a rapid onset of poverty and high unemployment, with few public resources available to alleviate economic distress. But in stark contrast to the image of a perpetual “urban underclass” depicted in television by shows like The Wire, sociologists Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson present a more nuanced portrait of Baltimore’s inner city residents that employs important new research on the significance of early-life opportunities available to low-income populations. The Long Shadow focuses on children who grew up in west Baltimore neighborhoods and others like them throughout the city, tracing how their early lives in the inner city have affected their long-term well-being. Although research for this book was conducted in Baltimore, that city’s struggles with deindustrialization, white flight, and concentrated poverty were characteristic of most East Coast and Midwest manufacturing cities. The experience of Baltimore’s children who came of age during this era is mirrored in the experiences of urban children across the nation.

For 25 years, the authors of The Long Shadow tracked the life progress of a group of almost 800 predominantly low-income Baltimore school children through the Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP). The study monitored the children’s transitions to young adulthood with special attention to how opportunities available to them as early as first grade shaped their socioeconomic status as adults. The authors’ fine-grained analysis confirms that the children who lived in more cohesive neighborhoods, had stronger families, and attended better schools tended to maintain a higher economic status later in life. As young adults, they held higher-income jobs and had achieved more personal milestones (such as marriage) than their lower-status counterparts. Differences in race and gender further stratified life opportunities for the Baltimore children. As one of the first studies to closely examine the outcomes of inner-city whites in addition to African Americans, data from the BSSYP shows that by adulthood, white men of lower status family background, despite attaining less education on average, were more likely to be employed than any other group in part due to family connections and long-standing racial biases in Baltimore’s industrial economy. Gender imbalances were also evident: the women, who were more likely to be working in low-wage service and clerical jobs, earned less than men. African American women were doubly disadvantaged insofar as they were less likely to be in a stable relationship than white women, and therefore less likely to benefit from a second income.

Combining original interviews with Baltimore families, teachers, and other community members with the empirical data gathered from the authors’ groundbreaking research, The Long Shadow unravels the complex connections between socioeconomic origins and socioeconomic destinations to reveal a startling and much-needed examination of who succeeds and why.

News Article: “Give the Homeless Homes”

News Article: James Surowiecki, Give the Homeless Homes, The New Yorker, Sept. 22, 2014

New Article: “Gideon is my Co-Pilot: The Promise of Civil Right to Counsel Pilot Programs”

New Article: Clare Pastore, Gideon is my Co-Pilot: The Promise of Civil Right to Counsel Pilot Programs, 17 U.D.C. L. Rev. 75 (2014).

Op-Ed: Paul Krugman, “In Defense of Obama” | Rolling Stone

In Defense of Obama | Rolling Stone.