FROM Manuel Cunha
Work Permits and the Politics of Immigration It's the summer harvest season in California, and farmers are facing a problem that's all too familiar: undocumented workers are needed to pick the crops. Temporary "guest worker" programs were once used to bring labor from other countries… but not anymore. Now, the workers already live here. Dan Walters is a syndicated columnist for the Sacramento Bee.
Immigration Reform and the Guest Worker Program As Congress debates immigration reform, one possible sticking point is a new look for the guest worker program. Many farmers say the current, H-2A visa system involves so much red tape they have no choice but to hire undocumented labor. At the same time, American workers have won court orders against illegal discrimination and poor working conditions.
Farm Labor, Immigration and Food Security A federal judge gave US employers--including farmers--a temporary reprieve yesterday, saying one immigration enforcement strategy might do irreparable harm to both business and labor. So-called " no match " Social Security letters will not be sent to employers after all, at least for the next few months. But planting, cultivating and harvesting have been seriously disrupted by the crackdown on illegal workers. In Colorado, restrictive new state laws deny all but essential services to undocumented workers, and some of the fields are being worked by prison inmates. In California, some farmers have already moved to Mexico. Why can't legal workers take up the slack? Is it only about cheap labor? What about the reliability and safety of the food supply?
Administration Attempts to Relax Visa Regulations for Farmworkers Yesterday's Los Angeles Times reported that a shortage of farm workers threatens to leave un-harvested fruits and vegetables rotting in fields nationwide. The Departments of Labor , State and Homeland Security say they're trying to help farmers who are threatened with a shortage of workers to harvest crops. It's all about the complex process required for hiring legal workers and the stepped up enforcement that’s cutting supplies of illegal ones.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.