No More False Alliances

The response to the Trump administration’s targeting of international students during the pandemic displayed the familiar tendencies of workers on the defensive, in a reactive mode. Amid the moral outrage, sloppy hot-takes, and airy condemnation of Trump and of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the majority of practical organizing saw UC graduate student workers align with UC administrators in sudden shared antagonism to the Federal Government. We, naturally, do not want to lose our visas and jobs; the UC does not want to lose a significant portion of its labor force, or its claim to a diverse and international research community. (The enduring connections between ICE and the UC hardly need to be rehashed here, beginning, of course, at the top, with former UC President Janet Napolitano’s tenure at the head of Homeland Security.)