The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization

by Rinku Sen and Fekkak Mamdouh.  Mamdouh is the Co-Executive Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, an Alliance member.  Sen is the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center.

The Accidental American vividly illustrates the challenges and contradictions of U. S. immigration policy, and argues that, just as there is a free flow of capital in the world economy, there should be a free flow of labor. Author Rinku Sen alternates chapters telling the story of one “accidental American”–coauthor Fekkak Mamdouh, a Moroccan-born waiter at a restaurant in the World Trade Center whose life was thrown into turmoil on 9/11–with a thorough critique of current immigration policy. Sen and Mamdouh describe how members of the largely immigrant food industry workforce managed to overcome divisions in the aftermath of 9/11 and form the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) to fight for jobs and more equitable treatment.