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Immigrant Detainees Work for a Dollar a Day

Immigrant Detainees Work for a Dollar a Day

At least 60,000 immigrants worked for the detention centers they were being held in in 2013—many for just a dollar a day. That’s according to Ian Urbina, in new report in the New York Times, where Urbina also found that some immigrants work in county jails for free. Out of the roughly 30,000 detainees held daily, some 5,500 work for pennies an hour, doing the essential cooking and cleaning. 

Detainee workers also include those seeking asylum, permanent residents and even U.S. citizens. Pedro Guzmán, a 34-year-old whose visa was erroneously revoked, says he was threatened for not working through a fever:

“I went from making $15 an hour as a chef to $1 a day in the kitchen in lockup,” said Pedro Guzmán, 34, who had worked for restaurants in California, Minnesota and North Carolina before he was picked up and held for about 19 months, mostly at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. “And I was in the country legally.”

Mr. Guzmán said that he had been required to work even when he was running a fever, that guards had threatened him with solitary confinement if he was late for his 2 a.m. shift, and that his family had incurred more than $75,000 in debt from legal fees and lost income during his detention. A Guatemalan native, he was released in 2011 after the courts renewed his visa, which had mistakenly been revoked, in part because of a clerical error. He has since been granted permanent residency.

You can read the story in full over at The New York Times

Isla Vista Could Embolden Push For Gun Violence Research

Isla Vista Could Embolden Push For Gun Violence Research

Elliot Rodger’s college-town rampage in Isla Vista, Calif. and holiday weekend shootings in New Orleans come a few days after two Democratic senators introduced legislation last week to jumpstart gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This latest effort recognizes the role that public health research may play in policy discussions around gun control and gun violence.

Gun violence research funding dried up in 1996 after an NRA intervention. Since 2007 the CDC has spent roughly $100,000-a-year on firearms-focused work. As a result, Americans know the number of homicides each year but not basic information like, how many Americans survive shootings, Pro Publica reports.

The NRA considers legislation allotting $10 million a year to the CDC to conduct gun violence research “unethical.” Michael Martinez, the father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, one of Rodger’s victims, continues to speak out against the NRA and politicians, whom he blames for his son’s death. He reportedly wants to meet with Rodger’s father as well. Christopher, 20, was his only child.

Rodger killed six people and wounded 13 others before turning the gun on himself, according to the latest reports. Gun violence in New Orleans this holiday weekend left four dead, 15 wounded.

For the latest on gun violence policy and politics, follow ProPublica’s ongoing series.

Did Race Play A Part in Isla Vista Rampage?

Did Race Play A Part in Isla Vista Rampage?

Misogyny played a huge role in the Isla Vista shootings this past Friday night but so did race, say sociologists Michael Kimmel and Cliff Leek. Citing 22-year-old Elliot Rodger’s 140-page manifesto (not linking), Kimmel and Leek flag Rodger’s feelings towards men of color calling his, “a voice of white male aggrieved entitlement.”

And then this black boy named Chance said that he lost his virginity when he was only thirteen! In addition, he said that the girl he lost his virginity to was a blonde white girl! I was so enraged that I almost splashed him with my orange juice. I indignantly told him that I did not believe him, and then I went to my room to cry…. How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more. … If this is actually true, if this ugly black filth was able to have sex with a blonde white girl at the age of thirteen while I’ve had to suffer virginity all my life, then this just proves how ridiculous the female gender is. They would give themselves to this filthy scum, but they reject ME? The injustice!

Rodger’s 20-year-old roommates Chen Yuan Hong and Weihan “David” Wang, and their friend, George Chen, 19, whom he stabbed to death, are of Asian descent. Kimmel and Leek also question whether police who’d visited Rodger’s at a family member’s request would have determined he posed no threat had he been black and expressing a similar rage found in his YouTube videos. (The AP reports that deputies had not seen Rodger’s videos when they called on him last month).

(h/t NY Daily News)

Isla Vista Killings, Nigeria Claims Schoolgirls Located and 20,000 Honeybees

Isla Vista Killings, Nigeria Claims Schoolgirls Located and 20,000 Honeybees

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • New details are emerging from the Isla Vista killings. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Weekend Read: Life Now for San Antonio Boy After Racist Slurs

Weekend Read: Life Now for San Antonio Boy After Racist Slurs

After singing the national anthem in mariachi dress during Game 3 of the NBA Finals last June, Sebastien de la Cruz received praise but also became a target of racist attacks. This year 12-year-old Sebastien is still singing and, showing off his latest trajes de charro. He’s today’s profile subject and Day 6 in a New York Times journey along Interstate-35 that looks at “how America is being changed by immigration.” I-35 is a middle America highway stretching from Laredo, Texas near the Mexican border to Duluth, Minnesota. Central questions for the series: Are immigrants [from south of the border] Americans? How has life along I-35 changed after decades of northward migration? Are newcomers integrating into American life?

Four stories precede Sebastien’s. I’ll get to them this weekend but after reading Sebastien’s brief profile, it strikes me that this journey north could show that many folks like Sebastien aren’t newcomers. They’ve been here—in many cases just as long or longer than other “preferred Americans” whose immigration status and roots aren’t similarly questioned.

The New York Times is asking folks to tell them where to go along I-35. Give ‘em a hand. Help shape the story.

Return of the Electric Chair, Mark Cuban Doing the Most and the Cute Olinguito

Return of the Electric Chair, Mark Cuban Doing the Most and the Cute Olinguito
Here’s what I’m reading up on this Friday morning:
 
  • New York City health officials are using Yelp to identify possible foodborne illness outbreaks.
TAGS: Morning Rush

Video: Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks White Supremacy and Reparations

Video: Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks White Supremacy and Reparations

Ta-Nehisi Coates has published a long-awaited reported feature in The Atlantic titled “The Case for Reparations.” The writer lays his argument out in 10 chapters; online, it includes multimedia elements like videos interactive maps.

Coates, who advocates for systemic approaches to inequity, tells Bill Moyers why honest, conscious conversations about history, white supremacy and policy are crucial to his vision of justice. 

Study: Portland Drivers Show Racial Bias When Yielding to Pedestrians

Study: Portland Drivers Show Racial Bias When Yielding to Pedestrians

By dressing up three white and three black men of similar age and build in identical clothes and sending them out into a busy Portland intersection researchers at Portland State University and the University of Arizona found that Portland drivers don’t treat all pedestrians equally.

Researchers chose a busy Portland crosswalk “where yielding isn’t influenced by cross traffic or turning,” The Oregonian reported, and found that black pedestrians had to wait 32 percent longer than their white counterparts and were passed by double the amount of cars before they could cross the street. 

“It’s amazing to look at something you thought might be subtle and to see it instead so clearly,” Portland State University researcher Tara Goddard told the Oregonian.

Turns out that nationally, pedestrian fatalities for African-Americans is 60 percent higher than it is for whites, and Latino pedestrian deaths are 43 percent higher than whites’. That may be influenced by pedestrians taking greater risks to cross when drivers won’t yield to them, researchers theorize. Read the rest at The Oregonian.

More Than 100 Protesters Arrested Outside McDonald’s HQ

More Than 100 Protesters Arrested Outside McDonald's HQ

The Golden Arches may become known for something other than its food. Yesterday about 250 police officers, including those in riot gear, met a large crowd of employees, clergy, community members and labor organizers protesting low pay outside McDonald’s corporate headquarters near Chicago. Oak Brook police report arresting more than 100 of a crowd it estimated at 1,000 to 1,500. Organizers put the number, arriving that morning on 32 buses, at 2,000. It remains to be seen whether or how the march on Hamburger University, including Moral Mondays leader and NAACP-NC president, Rev. William Barber, SEIU president, Mary Kay Henry and McDonald’s employee Eddie Foreman, can change the game for fast food workers and McDonald’s, which yesterday closed and barricaded the campus. Workers have been demonstrating since 2012 for a $15-an-hour wage increase, against wage theft and erratic scheduling and for the right to unionize without retaliation.

More protests are planned today. Shareholders are gathering for McDonald’s annual meeting where, according to the AP, they’re also expected to cover executive pay packages (highlighted in this 2012 Bloomberg investigation) and marketing to children in communities of color.

(h/t CNNMoneyBloombergWSJ)

Thai Coup, eBay Security Breach and Coates on Reparations

Thai Coup, eBay Security Breach and Coates on Reparations

Here’s some of what I’m catching up on this morning:

  • The Thai military has taken power of the government through a coup d’état. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

McDonald’s Campus Closes Because of Fast Food Protests

McDonald's Campus Closes Because of Fast Food Protests

Today, following last week’s first ever global fast food worker protests, hundreds of workers from around the country descended on McDonald’s corporate headquarters outside Chicago. In anticipation of the crowd the McDonald’s campus was a ghost town however, closed for the day. Moral Mondays leader, Rev. William Barber, president of the NAACP-NC is there, as is another southerner, Eddie Foreman. Foreman is a McDonald’s employee from Opelika, Ala., arrested last week, and charged with criminal trespass, he says, for protesting with other workers outside his local restaurant. Despite the legal trouble and risk of a second arrest, he made the trip north from Opelika today.

Barricades and fencing surround the entrance to McDonald’s HQ and around 150 people have been arrested, Foreman says. Asked what he’ll remember most about today’s protest, Foreman says, “I’m going to remember how many people have the same problem I have and went and fought for themselves.”

Fast food workers have staged wage protests since 2012 demanding a $15-an-hour wage increase as well as the right to form a union without retaliation.

NYPD Smashes 14-Year-Old Boy Through Store Window

NYPD Smashes 14-Year-Old Boy Through Store Window

In the Bronx this past Saturday night, an NYPD officer allegedly smashed a 14-year-old boy through a store window, critically injuring him. Reporting from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange raises questions about the boy’s arrest, his detention on the scene while bleeding profusely from the chest and officers’ reporting of the incident.

According to JJIE:

Initially, EMS did not rush to the scene because when the officers put the call over they did not indicate that there was a pediatric emergency, a source familiar with the incident said. Instead they used a protocol normally used for drunks. The office did not issue a “sheet” — an email to the police press corps detailing newsworthy events — on the incident….

A spokesman for the police department said two teenagers were arrested, ages 13 and 14, at approximately 11 p.m. Officers charged both of the suspects with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and assault. He said he could not confirm the incident involving Payne being thrown through the glass. “It’s not listed in the report here,” he said.

Javier Payne, the 14-year-old, has had contact with the system before. In order to receive greater services, Payne’s mother placed him in a family court-affiiliated “Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS)” program at his middle school. He is in the 8th grade. 

African-American boys, according to a new report, comprise 17 percent of the juvenile population but 31 percent of all arrests. Disproportionate juvenile minority representation, the DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency reports, “is evident at nearly all contact points on the juvenile justice system continuum.” Similar rates may apply for Latino youth but, data on ethnic disparities is limited.

By Sunday afternoon a new pane of glass had already been installed at the store. Read more at JJIE.

Drone Strikes, Obamacare, and the WNBA’s LGBT Fans

Drone Strikes, Obamacare, and the WNBA's LGBT Fans

Here’s what I’m reading up on:

  • After 10 years of negotiations, Russia and China have reached a natural gas deal that’s estimated to be worth $400 billion.
  • The White House is set to release a memo written by an appeals court nominee who signed off on the targeted drone killing of a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki.
  • The Obama administration quietly made a little-known adjustment to the Affordable Care Act that freed up billions of dollars to insurers. 
  • The WNBA is launching a new ad campaign that targets its LGBT fans, making it the first pro sports league to do so. 
  • Watch out, D.C.: Malia Obama will soon be eligible for a learner’s permit
  • Northern California is bracing itself for pretty much non-stop rain this fall thanks to global warming. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Trigger Warnings and Free Speech On Campus. Discuss.

Trigger Warnings and Free Speech On Campus. Discuss.

The bounds of appropriate speech on college campuses is shrinking every day—or so it appears to many in the liberal and conservative mainstream. Room for Debate over at The New York Times looks at only the latest speech controversies: Rutgers students protesting Condoleeza Rice as commencement speaker and “trigger warnings” demanded for in-class film screenings, syllabi or works of literature. But this debate is old and especially relevant for many students of color and women. They’re often framed as the “bad guys” pushing back against disagreeable, hateful (as in these examples from Bowling Green, Ky.St. Louis, Mo. and San Jose State in Ca.) offensive or uncomfortable speech. Is free speech really under attack on college campuses? If so, do the attackers generally look like POC and women? 

Thailand’s Military, New York City’s Heroin, and Donald Sterling’s Lawsuits

Thailand's Military, New York City's Heroin, and Donald Sterling's Lawsuits

Here’s what I’m reading up on today:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Google To Release Numbers on Employee Diversity

Google To Release Numbers on Employee Diversity

In 2011 a year-and-a-half long CNN Money investigation into Silicon Valley’s workforce diversity hit a wall. “Most of the companies”—including Internet giant, Google—“stonewalled us,” the report concluded in 2013. Last week however, Google reversed course and announced that beginning next month it will disclose EEOC data showing the number of women and people of color on its 50,000-member staff, worldwide. It’s expected Google’s disclosure will increase pressure on other tech companies to do the same. Silicon Valley has long contended with a poor reputation for hiring and promoting women and people of color or, seeding their start-up ventures. 

(h/t San Jose Mercury News)

Russia Pulls Back from Ukraine, AT&T Deal, Rent-Regulation in NYC

Russia Pulls Back from Ukraine, AT&T Deal, Rent-Regulation in NYC

Here’s what I’m reading up on today:

 

TAGS: Morning Rush

Watch: Video Teaser for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Case for Reparations

Watch: Video Teaser for Ta-Nehisi Coates' Case for Reparations

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates is about to drop an opus about Chicago housing that will revive the long dormant U.S. case for reparations. Coates most recently made news with what’s been described as a “public intellectual death match” with political journalist Jonathan Chait over race, the “culture of poverty” and “other people’s pathologies.” (Coates won.) Judging by today’s blog post, Coates is gearing up for another intellectual title, heralding next week’s release with reparations quotes from the Bible, Enlightenment philosopher John Locke and Bailey Wyatt, a freedman speaking at an 1866 political meeting.

Caribbean nations through 15-member body CARICOM thrust reparations back onto the international stage last year, with their demand for compensation from former colonial powers France, the U.K. and the Netherlands.

Weekend Read: The Booker-Zuckerberg $100M Plan to Reform Newark Schools

Weekend Read: The Booker-Zuckerberg $100M Plan to Reform Newark Schools

Of all the education-related stories coming out in time for this weekend’s 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed., The New Yorker’s “Schooled” earns high marks. “The Newark schools are like a candy store that’s a front for a gambling operation. When a threat materializes, everyone takes his position and sells candy. When it recedes, they go back to gambling.” That 2010 quote from a longtime educator describes the frustration long faced by Newark parents and taken on in 2009 by now U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). He’d planned, along with assistance from Gov. Christie (R-NJ) and $100 million from 30-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to use charters to turn Newark into a national model of urban education reform. How did the plan roll out and how’s it working now?

Writer Dale Russakoff tackles those questions in a longread full of disheartening though not unsurprising challenges and reformer and political missteps. Throughout, however, she* keeps our focus on the lives that actually matter: the children’s.

(h/t The New Yorker)

*Post has been updated.

California Fires, Net Neutrality and Donald Sterling Refuses Fine

California Fires, Net Neutrality and Donald Sterling Refuses Fine

Here’s what I’m reading up on today:

  • The operator that runs the Turkish mine that was engulfed in fire is denying any negligence in connection to the accident. 
  • Hindu nationalists take the lead in India’s massive elections. 
  • Beyoncé, Jay Z and Solange release a statement saying they’ve worked through their elevator incident. 
TAGS: Morning Rush
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