Professor Aviva Chomsky will speak about immigration at the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, on Thursday, November 8, at 7 p.m. The title of her talk is “Righting the Wrongs: Creating a More Just Immigration System.” Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University.
In 1976 and 1977, Chomsky worked for the United Farm Workers union, which had a big impact on her later work. “I credit that experience with sparking my interest in the Spanish language, in migrant workers and immigration, in labor history, in social movements and labor organizing, in multinationals and their workers, in how global economic forces affect individuals, and how people collectively organize for social change,” she says.
Active in Latin American solidarity and immigrants’ rights issues for more than 25 years, Chomsky is the author of seven books and numerous articles about class and race, immigration, and the rights of workers. In her book “They Take Our Jobs!” And 20 Other Myths About Immigration, Chomsky dismantles 20 of the most common assumptions and beliefs underlying statements like “I’m not against immigration, only illegal immigration” and challenges the misinformation.
In exposing the myths that underlie today’s debate, Chomsky illustrates how the parameters and presumptions of the debate distort how we think and have been thinking about immigration. She observes that race, ethnicity, and gender were historically used as reasons to exclude portions of the population from access to rights. Today, Chomsky argues, the dividing line is citizenship. Although resentment against immigrants and attempts to further marginalize them are still apparent today, the notion that non-citizens, too, are created equal is virtually absent from the public sphere.
Chomsky’s talk is free and open to the public.