Trump’s ‘Immployment’ Law Agenda: Intensifying Employment-Based Enforcement and Un-Authorizing the Authorized

Kati L. Griffin & Shannon Gleeson
Date of Publication: 
November, 2019
Source Organization: 

This article considers President Trump’s immigration efforts through an “immployment” law lens. “Immployment” is a conceptual frame that reminds us to consider (1) immigration policy’s impacts on employers and the employment-based rights of workers, and (2) employment and labor law’s impacts on immigration policy. It draws from available enforcement data to argue that Trump’s regime is intensifying the use of workplace-based immigration enforcement tools such as audits of employer records and arrests of workers at their place of work. While his predecessors used these tools, too, Trump is simultaneously pursuing both high profile worker arrests and bureaucratic audits as key tools of a more aggressive immigration enforcement strategy. The Trump administration is also deviating from his predecessors by un-authorizing large groups of authorized workers. The article focuses its attention primarily on one such targeted group, workers with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), who may soon lose their authorization. It also uses interviews with two dozen immigrant worker advocates in the New York City metropolitan area to convey the ways that the threat of workplace-based immigration enforcement and un- authorization efforts are consequential for workers and the government compliance and benefits regimes that rely on voluntary participation of immigrant workers. (Samantha Jones for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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Griffin, K. L., & Gleeson, S. (2019). Trump’s ‘immployment’ law agenda: Intensifying employment-based enforcement and un-authorizing the authorized. Southwestern Law Review 48. Retrieved from