L.A.’s Past, America’s Future?

Ruth Milkman

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:
L.A.’s Past, America’s Future?

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The aftereffects of the massive immigrant rights marches of spring 2006 are evident on multiple fronts. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) dramatically stepped up its workplace raids and deportations of undocumented immigrants soon after the marches, while intensifying its efforts to police the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigrants themselves have been actively pursuing all available opportunities for greater political incorporation. Among those eligible, naturalization applications along with new voter registrations soared in the immediate aftermath of the protests, directly contributing to the expanded and heavily Democratic Latino vote in the 2006 and 2008 elections. As immigrant unionization gained traction in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, another kind of organizing among foreign-born workers was also taking shape. The “worker center” movement began in the 1990s, offering low-wage immigrant workers assistance in pursuing their legal rights. The unprecedented political mobilization among California’s immigrants stimulated by Proposition 187 became a bonanza for the Democratic Party, with which organized labor already had a long-standing relationship. The fears that Proposition 187’s passage provoked among immigrants in 1994 galvanized the Latinos.

Keywords: Los Angeles; immigrant rights; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; immigrants; protests; Latinos; California; worker center movement; Proposition 187; unionization

Chapter.  6265 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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