For immediate release
February 8, 2012
Video, featuring Congresswoman Judy Chu, connects Goldman Sachs executive to college's immigrant worker firing
Pomona College — A new video released today, Monday, Feb. 6, about Pomona College’s firing of immigrant workers puts a new face on the story, while connecting the controversial decision to a Goldman Sachs executive.
In the three-minute video, Carmen, an 11-year Pomona College dining hall office worker, tells how she was fired late last year after the college’s Board of Trustees demanded that she and her co-workers reproduce their papers to work in the US. Many of the fired workers were organizing a union. One man involved in the decision to investigate and fire the workers is Paul Efron, Pomona College’s board chairman and advisory director at Goldman Sachs. Efron was a Goldman partner for Number years.
Efron said it was the Pomona College “board leadership” that made the decision to investigate long-time employees.
The incident has ignited a furious debate about the rights of immigrant workers and responsibilities and ideals of a “liberal institution” like Pomona College. In response to a New York Times article last week, 450 readers left heated immigration-related comments on the newspaper’s website. Hundreds of alumni have pledged not to donate money to Pomona. Students have staged repeated protests, some of which are featured in the video.
“You’d think if anyplace would be a safe haven for immigrants, it would be our colleges and universities, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Pomona College,” said Dr. Peter Dreier, an Occidental College professor. “They’ve joined in the wave of anti-immigrant hysteria.”
Congresswoman Judy Chu, who represents East LA and parts of the Inland Empire, is also featured in the video. “They were workers who put their sweat, blood and tears into the college, and they desire better," Chu said.
For more information, contact JusticeatPomona.org or contact Leigh Shelton at 323-533-3864 or [email protected].