Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2006

Publication Citation

13 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 105 (2006)


This article explores the impact of globalization on immigrant workers in the United States. Although Congress created programs to provide vocational training services and cash allowances to workers who qualified by virtue of having lost their jobs as a result of the adverse impacts of trade, these programs have done little to assist many of the immigrant workers displaced by shifting labor markets. Through critical review of two case studies, the article pursues a more comprehensive understanding of the reasons the system failed these workers, in order to better respond to systematic barriers placed in the way of limited-English proficient immigrant workers seeking retraining and related services. Part I explores the experiences and legal claims of more than 125 limited-English proficient employees of a large mushroom operation in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Part II discusses the ongoing efforts of the members of the Asociacion de Trabajadores Fronterizos,a private organization fighting to achieve better working conditions and wages for workers displaced by El Paso's vanishing apparel and textile manufacturing industry. Part III delves further into how notions of citizenship serve as barriers to recognition of the workers as vital and permanent members of an integrated working class in the United States. Ultimately, the article argues for the development of a more comprehensive strategy to identify, evaluate, and overcome those barriers, to ensure that advocacy efforts undertaken are more successful.

Globalization and the New Politics of Labor, Symposium. Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, February 11-12, 2005.