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Glenys Spence

Assistant Professor
Phoenix School of Law

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In this Current Issues podcast, Professor Glenys Spence from the Phoenix School of Law joins ACUNS to discuss the issue of immigration-related employment through a comparative perspective between the United States and Botswana.  According to Professor Spence, Botswana serves as an excellent comparative case as the historical trends of the American economy and its demand for -and subsequent poor treatment of – undocumented labour during economic booms is mirrored in Botswana. In both states, the challenges faced by undocumented workers result in a form of modern slavery.  Professor Spence notes that there is an unresolved tension between US labour regulations and US immigration regulations that impedes fair working conditions. While there have been legislative responses to the injustices undocumented workers face in the United States, such as The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, these measures fall short and fail to provide meaningful protection. In contrast, while Botswana similarly seeks to control migration flows, it is currently exploring policies to protect undocumented workers who have entered the state by targeting employers who exploit their undocumented workers. Professor Spence concludes by emphasizing the need for a change in the attitudes towards undocumented workers through effective policies that recognize the humanitarian reasons that cause these workers to flee.

Additional Resources

Glenys Spence, Background
Professor Glenys Spence is a professor at the University of Phoenix School of Law. She graduated with a B.A. in Communications and International Studies from the University of Denver and received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. Before joining Phoenix Law, Professor Spence practiced civil litigation and immigration law both as a solo practitioner as well as with the JBM Immigration Group. Professor Spence’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of international commercial law and Commonwealth Caribbean law in the post-colonial era, as well as asylum and refugee law in the United States and internationally. She is currently working on an article which will continue to explore immigration and employment issues in Botswana and Southern Africa, an article on the CARICOM case for reparations, and the issue of citizenship for Haitians in the Dominican Republic.


Recorded December 2013