EventCritic: Immigration and Activism

Immigrationand Activism wasa lecture held on November 17, 2014 in the Wenner-GrensFoundation Building starting 1900hrs. This particular event was partof a larger consortium lectures given by Daniel Goldsteinand Alyshia Galvez on behalf of the New York Academy of Science’sAnthropology Section. The lecture was aimed at sensitizing theaudience the problems that immigrant workers face in terms ofpolicies, regulations, and discrimination. A donation of twentydollars was suggested though the event was free for graduatestudents. It is also worth noting that no prior registration wasrequired and participants were free to join.

Dr.Goldstein is a lecturer from the Rutgers University and has been withthe institution since 2005. More particularly, he specializes onexamining the meaning global, security, human rights and democracyissues. He has also published numerous publications regarding theseissues and has been on the forefront in the fight for the rights ofmarginalized people (Rutgers). Dr. Galvez, currently with LehmanCollege, CUNY, has interests in migration religion, citizenship,Latinos and Latin America. She is currently the Director in thedepartment of Mexican Studies. She has been involved in differentresearch works with the focus being pregnancy among immigrants andreligiosity (Lehman College). The vast knowledge and experiencegained by these two presenters is a clear indication of theauthenticity of what they presented.

Theevent was graced by people from different backgrounds with aninterest in the role that politics plays in defining the lives ofimmigrant workers. Dr. Goldstein paper which was titled ‘E-Terrify:Electronic surveillance of immigrant worker in Obama’s America’soughtto show that immigrants workers are subjected to invisible policieswhich are otherwise unfair. Such policies are aimed at creating fearamong immigrant workers particularly those who do not have the properdocuments. On the other hand, Dr. Galvez’s paper focused more oncapitalism in the modern world and argues that the current trendexerts burdens on the laborers whether or not they work. This eventhelped shed more light on the conditions that immigrant workers aresubjected to, particularly give the rate at which expatriate labor isgrowing within developed economies.

Thepresentation was accompanied by a session of questions from theaudience as well as any additional contributions. Clearly, there is avast lack of information regarding the policies and regulationsaffecting immigrant workers. Most of those in the audience asindicated by the type of questions posed. For example, amongst thequestions of interest was whether immigrant workers had the right toequal pay. While most of the people would answer yes to thisquestion, most of them do not know that immigrant workers are oftengiven the lowest paying positions. The event was a mind andrevelation for many and more so for graduate students whose main wishis to finish their education and secure jobs within the country.

Ona personal note, there was a lot to learn from the event. Startingfrom the organization of the event to its conclusion, two things canbe learned from it. First is the cultural diversity facing our modernsociety. Clearly, immigrant workers and the number of foreignstudents have been on the increase over the last couple of years. Thesecond lesson is that despite the contribution of the immigrantworkers in the production process, they remain subjects to continueddiscrimination and unfair treatment. This coupled by a changingcapitalism approach, the income gap in the society continues to rise.


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