Latino USA

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Cheating Carnival Workers

At all-American carnivals, the workers who run rides and attractions are most often immigrants from Mexico and Central America. An estimated 5,000 workers are recruited abroad yearly to run rides and attractions in the United States.

And according to this report from the American University Washington College of Law and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, many of these workers endure deceptive recruitment practices, high pre-employment fees and costs, wage theft, lack of access to legal and medical assistance, substandard housing and unsafe work conditions.

In a special report in collaboration with the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund, we examine how these workers were left out of some federal work protections and how some are now claiming their rights.

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John Carlos FreyJohn Carlos Frey is a freelance investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His investigative work has been featured on the 60 Minutes episode, “The All American Canal;” a three-part series for PBS entitled “Crossing the Line;” and several episodes of Dan Rather Reports, “Angel of the Desert,” and “Operation Streamline.” In 2011 Frey documented the journey of Mexican migrants across the US-Mexico border and walked for days in the Arizona desert risking his own life for the documentary Life and Death on the Border”. John Carlos Frey has also written articles for the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Salon, Need to Know online, the Washington Monthly, and El Diario (in Spanish). Frey’s documentary films include The Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon (2007), The Invisible Chapel (2008), and The 800 Mile Wall (2009). He is the 2012 recipient of the Scripps Howard Award and the Sigma Delta Chi award for his Investigative Fund/PBS reporting on the excessive use of force by the US Border Patrol. He is a fellow at the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund.

The U.S. Auto Sector Went South…To Mexico

There are many reasons why immigration from Mexico to the U.S. has come to a virtual standstill. A slow U.S. economy, an increase in border security, and the passage of “show me your papers” laws in many states. But another reason that might not be so obvious is that right now, Mexico’s economy is booming.

Last year, it grew by 4 percent, four times the rate of Brazil’s economy. Reporter Marlon Bishop explains that a lot of the growth is due to high-tech manufacturing.

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Marlon Bishop_new headshotMarlon Bishop is a radio producer, writer, and reporter based in New York. His work is focused on music, Latin America, New York City and the arts. He is a frequent contributor to WNYC, Studio 360, The World, Latino USA and MTV Iggy. He is an Associate Producer for Afropop Worldwide.

Why Should Unions Support Immigration Reform?

You might not expect organized labor to advocate for immigration reform. But AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka tells us why he and his unions are making a push for reform to happen, and happen this year.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Richard-L.Trumka-AFL-CIO-President_mediumRichard Trumka is the president of the AFL-CIO, a national federation of labor organizations.

 

 

This Bill Of Rights Is Going To Change My Life

Nannies, housekeepers, and elder care workers are excluded from federal benefits, but California is the third state after New York and Hawaii to enact a bill of rights for domestic workers. Reporter Emily Wilson talked to two of them.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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emilyheadshotEmily Wilson is a freelance reporter and producer in San Francisco. She teaches media literacy, math, and English to adults earning their GED at City College of San Francisco.

Organizing Domestic Workers In The Rest Of The Country

This year, California passed a Bill of Rights protecting domestic workers. New York and Hawaii have passed similar bills. But what is going on in the other 47 states? Andrea Cristina Mercado is the campaign director for the National Domestic Worker Alliance. She joins host Maria Hinojosa to talk about how the legacy of slavery makes it difficult for domestic workers to organize and how despite obstacles, the domestic worker movement has grown.

Photo courtesy of Dignidad Rebelde. 

C2_NatDomWorkers_Headshot_AndreaCristinaMercado_Credit_National Domestic Worker Association

Photo courtesy of National Domestic Workers Association.

Andrea Cristina Mercado is the daughter of South American immigrants, the mother of two small girls, and the new Campaign Director at the National Domestic Worker Alliance. For the past eight years Andrea has been organizing at Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), a grassroots Latina immigrant women’s organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is one of the co-founders of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and has played a leadership role in building and coordinating the California Domestic Worker Coalition, a statewide effort to include domestic workers in labor laws.

News or Noise? Anchor Trust Edition

Years ago, the most trusted man in America was a newscaster. Now, people’s trust in the media is painfully low. In our regular segment about news literacy we talk to students at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, NY and the teacher who heads their high school newspaper about trust in the news.

C3_ScottMenscherScott Menscher is a Communication Arts teacher at Edward R. Murrow H.S. in Brooklyn. Scott runs the journalism program at the school and is the faculty adviser of the award-winning newspaper, The Murrow Network. Scott also teaches a News Literacy class to sophomores and serves on the teacher advisory board for the News Literacy Project.

 

 

 

Sabiduría: Get Your Focus On

It’s easy to get distracted. In this Sabiduría, scholar and cultural activist Dr. Marta Moreno Vega gives us a little advice about what to do when work and other life worries make you lose your focus.

marta fbMarta Moreno Vega was born in El Barrio “Spanish Harlem” of Puerto Rican parents born in Puerto Rico. Dr. Vega, an Afro Puerto Rican, has dedicated her professional life to developing culturally grounded institutions placing the history and culture of African descendants in the Diaspora in the time clock of world history. She is founder and president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, an international not for profit organization located in New York City which she created in 1976.

Going to Rikers Island

On Rikers Island, the largest jail in the world, a new program aims at lowering juvenile recidivism by training young inmates to question their own life choices. Maria Hinojosa takes us into East River Academy, a high school–in jail–to explore how the program works.

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michael-johnson-headshot-150x150Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Michael Simon Johnson spend most of his childhood making music and groaning when his parents put on NPR in the car. So naturally he graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Sound Design, moved to New York and made his way into public radio. As an engineer, he has worked for Afropop Worldwide, WNYC’s Radio Rookies, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He commits much of his time to working on radio and multimedia projects but can often be found playing the bass, rock climbing, and traveling.

Once You’re Out

Juan Echevarria made the most of his time on the inside. While serving fifteen years, he took classes and  started an HIV education program. He now helps men and women who are being released from prison transition back into the world. Juan shares a few thoughts on challenges former inmates face as they reenter society.

Photo courtesy of Flicker.

 Juan Echevarria served fifteen years in prison where he took classes and  started an HIV education program. He now helps men and women who are being released from prison transition back into the world.

Diplomas Behind Bars

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a school is offering high school diplomas–not GEDs–to county jail inmates. Freelance reporter Megan Kamerick tells us more.

Photo courtesy of Flicker.

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megankMegan Kamerick is a freelance journalist and radio producer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She been a journalist for 20 years, mostly in print.  As a business reporter and editor at the San Antonio Business Journal, New Orleans CityBusiness and the New Mexico Business Weekly, she covered numerous beats, including real estate, economic development, law, education,  tourism, the creative economy, philanthropy and the film/media industries. Her work has also appeared in Art Business News, New Orleans Magazine and New Mexico Journeys.

She is currently working part-time as a host and producer at New Mexico PBS for the show “Public Square” and as an independent producer at KUNM radio on the conservation beat. She also produces newscasts and interviews for the KUNM show “Women’s Focus.”

She has received awards over  the years for investigative pieces, arts coverage, environmental stories, profiles, breaking news and the portrayal of women. She was also named outstanding small business journalist in New Mexico by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s New Mexico office.

 

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