Unit 3 Destination Discussion - Arizona/Mexico

Advance Reading: Members of the group should read Pamela Brubaker’s “Reforming Global Economic Policies,” from Justice in a Global Economy, Brubaker et al., and

Chapter Five of Undocumented by Aviva Chomsky.


Please have someone from your group read this two quotation, which was used as the epigraph for the Brubaker essay.

The spirituality of life, which is basic to our Christian faith, is intrinsically at odds with prevailing political-economic arrangements and policies that are creating and exacerbating human suffering. Therefore, we believe that nothing less than a fundamental shift in political-economic paradigms is necessary for humankind to become instruments of God in striving for the vision of just, participatory and sustainable communities.”

When you consider the Purposes and Principles that articulate our own Unitarian Universalism, can you imagine making a similar statement?

Please read this quote from Aviva Chomsky:

Was it a paradox that the Border Patrol was created in the 1920s, just when agribusiness, with its need for migrant labor, was rapidly expanding in the Southwest? Several scholars argue that in fact the system worked well for farmers who needed migrant workers. Mexican workers could still cross the border easily, but because they became more deportable, the new laws also made them more exploitable [….] Deportability was part of that discipline. Local officials served farmers’ interests by carrying out deportation raids in cases of union organizing or, sometimes, just before payday.”

In light of this week’s reading from the book Undocumented:

  • What parallels do you see between Chomsky’s description of the plight of undocumented workers in the 1920s and what you know about their situation in our own time?
  • How do such observations as the one Chomsky makes above conflict with some of the assumptions that seem to lie beneath our current immigration debate?
  • Do you have ideas to share about how we might build an economy that would be fair to both documented and undocumented workers?


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