Building the Labor-Clergy-Immigrant Alliance

Randy Shaw

in Rallying for Immigrant Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948914 | DOI:
Building the Labor-Clergy-Immigrant Alliance

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In the spring of 2006, millions of Latinos and their supporters marched through America’s streets to demand legalization for the nation’s undocumented immigrants. Many factors contributed to these protests for immigrant rights in the United States. But central to the largest events in Los Angeles and elsewhere was the active support of immigrant rights by the labor movement and the religious community. Labor unions had long opposed measures to protect undocumented immigrants, while relations between the Catholic Church—the most common place of worship for Latino immigrants—and progressive and labor activists became strained over a series of labor disputes starting in the late 1980s and continuing for over a decade. This chapter begins by tracing how Miguel Contreras used the United Farm Workers’ organizing model to help develop the Latino-labor alliance that boosted the cause of immigrant rights, and his role as political director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. It then discusses the AFL-CIO’s participation in the immigrant rights movement, the Active Citizenship Campaign, and the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride.

Keywords: Latinos; immigrants; protests; immigrant rights; United States; Los Angeles; labor movement; religious community; Miguel Contreras; AFL-CIO

Chapter.  8701 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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