WSW: Economics, Human Rights And International Issues Of Immigration

Oct 2, 2017

Supporters of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) demonstrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.
Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais / The Associated Press

University of Notre Dame Sociology Professor Jorge Bustamante says the economic and humanitarian issues of immigration are “two sides of the same coin.”


Bustamante who has advocated for the human rights of migrants and refuges, including in a role with the United Nations will speak at noon on Wednesday at University Michigan University’s Bernhard Center. His address, sponsored by the Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations is called DACA, Dreamers and the Undocumented, a Human Rights Perspective. Bustamante says the “power asymmetries” between migrants and people employing them leads to cheap labor while rejecting those workers as members of society.

President Obama signed an executive order in 2012 allowing people brought to the United States as young children to stay in the country. Bustamante says the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy is at the center of the debate right now. President Trump has promised to end DACA, but has given Congress time to work on an alternative. Bustamante says people who were brought to the U.S. as children are generally considered separately from people who come as adults.

Bustamante says immigration is more than a domestic issue. He says reform requires agreements between nations. He says while that’s “extremely difficult” to achieve, it has happened in a few cases. Bustamante says negotiations between nations have to recognize the needs of both parties. He says in the case of the Mexico and the United States, Mexico would have to accept restrictions on the border, while the U.S. would have to offer conditions accepting the human rights of migrants.

President Trump campaigned on building a wall along the border with Mexico, and deporting undocumented migrants. Bustamante says that creates a very dark scenario for immigrants in the United States. But Bustamante says it’s not just the United States. He says European countries are also turning to anti-immigration candidates.