Strengthening America’s Immigrant ‘Resilience Force’ with Saket Soni
The language that is used to talk about immigrants in America is something that really bothers Chris. A common and unproductive trope that’s heard in media is “a flood of immigrants to the border.” At the same time, there is a growing dependance at the foundational level on the labor of immigrants in the U.S. As natural disasters are happening with increasing frequency and intensity, communities are relying more and more on immigrant laborers. Saket Soni is director of Resilience Force, a national initiative that advocates on behalf of disaster recovery workers. He’s also author of the upcoming book, “The Great Escape: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams In America.” The subject of the story starts when Soni, who was 28 years old at the time, received an anonymous phone call from an Indian migrant who told him about incredibly inhumane worker conditions at a labor camp in Mississippi. The extraordinary journey that follows is told in the fascinating read about how Soni and 500 workers devised a bold plan, after a series of clandestine meetings, to escape and bring attention to their cause in Washington, D.C. He joins WITHpod to discuss writing about one of the largest human trafficking cases in modern American history, his deeply personal story coming to the U.S. from India, the importance of a well-protected skilled resilient workforce, rebuilding social fabrics around this topic and more.