Last updated on: 8/3/2017 | Author:

Aviva Chomsky, PhD Biography

Professor of History at Salem State University
Pro to the question "Should the Government Allow a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?"

“Immigrants are human beings who have arbitrarily been classified as having a different legal status from the rest of the country’s inhabitants. The only thing that makes immigrants different from anybody else is the fact that they are denied the basic rights that the rest of us have. There is simply no humanly acceptable reason to define a group of people as different and deny them rights….

We had it right back in the 1980s when we insisted that ‘No human being is illegal.’ If discrimination on the basis of national origin is illegal, then we need to acknowledge that our immigration laws are illegal. Human rights—including the right to be recognized as a person equal to other people—apply to everyone: no exceptions. Let’s admit that our discriminatory laws are unjustifiable. Let’s abolish the category ‘illegal’ and give everyone the right to exist. We would solve the problem of illegal immigration with the stroke of a pen.”

“How to Solve the Problem of Illegal Immigration with the Stroke of a Pen,”, Oct. 29, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of History, Salem State University, 1997-present
  • Coordinator, Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies, Salem State University, 1999-present
  • Ena H. Thompson Visiting Professor in History, Pomona College, 2013
  • Visiting Professor, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay, 2012
  • Associate Professor of History and Coordinator, Latin American Studies, Salem State College, 1999-2002
  • Associate Professor of History, Salem State College, 1997-1999
  • Assistant Professor of History, Bates College, 1990-1997
  • Teaching Assistant, History Department, University of California, Berkeley, 1987-1990
  • Teaching Assistant, Spanish Department, University of California, Berkeley, 1985-1987
  • United Farm Workers, 1976-1977
  • PhD, History, University University of California, Berkeley, 1990
  • MA, History, University of California, Berkeley, 1985
  • BA, Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Berkeley, 1982
  • Daughter of Noam Chomsky, linguist and political activist