Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit· Bureaucratic Politics in Federal Workplace Agencies Serving Undocumented Workers. Journal Article uri icon



  • This Article integrates social science theory about immigrant incorporation and administrative agencies with empirical data about immigrant-serving federal workplace agencies to illuminate the role of bureaucracies in the construction of rights. More specifically, it contends that immigrants' rights can be protected when workplace agencies incorporate immigrants into labor law enforcement in accordance with the agencies' professional ethos and organizational mandates. Building on Miles' Law that "where you stand depends on where you sit, " this Article argues that agencies exercise discretion in the face of contested law and in contravention to a political climate hostile to undocumented immigrants for the purpose of protecting workers. Consequently, strongly pro-immigrant policies in the political branches are not necessary for the recovery of immigrants' rights. Instead, entrenched institutional commitments to professional ethics and recognition of organizational mandates constrain politics resulting in a hybrid form of bureaucratic politics. Empirical evidence of regulatory responses to immigrant workers after Hoffman Plastic v. NLRB in three federal agencies serve as comparative case studies: the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

publication date

  • June 1, 2012

Date in CU Experts

  • October 7, 2013 11:03 AM

Full Author List

  • Chen MH

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1067-7666

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 227

end page

  • 298


  • 33


  • 2