April 6, 2001

Symposium Examining Challenges of Migrant Labor to be Held April 17 as Part of Month-Long Cesar Chavez Celebration at UCSD

A symposium examining the challenges facing migrant farm workers and their struggle for equitable working conditions will be held April 17 in Deutz Conference Room of Copley International Conference Center at the University of California, San Diego.

The State of Migrant Labor in the Western United States: Then and Now is being presented as part of UCSD's month-long César Chávez Celebration held in recognition of the first year, 2001, that California is observing a César Chávez state holiday.

The noon to 4 p.m. event is free and open to the public.

Wayne Cornelius, Gildred Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD, will moderate.

Cornelius will be joined by five nationally prominent scholars in various disciplines who will discuss the changing relations over the years of migrant farm workers with employers, labor contractors, and labor unions; the ways in which undocumented immigration status affects migrants' access to jobs and terms of employment, and varied social, legal, and political issues affecting the well-being of migrant works.

Cornelius's emphasis will be Employer Demand vs. Obstacle Courses at the Border: The Failure of U.S. Government Attempts to Restrict the Supply of Mexican Migrant Labor in the United States, 1993-2000.

The scholars joining Cor-nelius and their topics:

Manuel Garcia y Griego, director of the Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas, Arlington, and co-author of Immigration and Immigrant Integration in California: Seeking a New Consensus, will discuss Contract LaborPrograms in the 20th Century: Implications for `Guestworker' Programs in the 21st Century.

Fred Krissman, Department of Anthropology, California State University, North-ridge, and expert on the farm labor contracting system in California and Washington, will focus on Apples and Oranges: Union Organizing of Migrant Workers in Ameri-ca's Hinterland.

Philip L. Martin, professor of agricultural economics, UC Davis, and co-author of Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Immigration and the Changing Face of Rural California, will examine Farm Labor in California, Then and Now.

Juan Vicente Palerm, professor of anthropology, UC Santa Barbara, and author of Chicano and Mexican Communities in Rural California: Conflict and Change, will discuss Housing the Migrant Poor in Rural California.

Lynn Stephen, professor of anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, and author of Zapata Lives: Local Histories, Nation Views, and Politics in Southern Mexico, will talk on Farmworkers in Oregon: Histories, Labor Relations, and Identities.

Commentator will be Claudia Smith, a Guatemala-born public interest lawyer and executive director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in Oceanside.

The symposium is being coordinated by UCSD's Center for Comparative Immigration Studies. For further information contact Carmen Rodriguez at (858) 822-4447.

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