The Accidental American calls for a bold new approach to immigration: a free international flow of labor to match globalization’s free flow of capital. After all, corporations are encouraged to move anywhere in the world they can maximize their earnings. People shouldn’t have to risk exploitation, abuse, and even imprisonment when they try to do the same.
Activist, journalist, and immigration expert Rinku Sen and organizer Fekkak Mamdouh examine the consequences of this injustice through Mamdouh’s own story. Born in Morocco, he was a waiter and union leader at Windows on the World, a restaurant in the World Trade Center. In the aftermath of September 11th, facing a rising tide of anti-immigrant bias, Mamdouh and others formed the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) to help their colleagues fight for decent jobs and fair treatment. ROC-NY was able to unite native-born and immigrant workers, helping each group realize they were involved in a common struggle for better working conditions.