FROM Jill Cashen
Rough Jobs, Illegal Immigration and Identity Theft Horrendous working conditions in meatpacking plants were exposed by Upton Sinclair in his novel, The Jungl e, back in 1906. One hundred years later, the plants are staffed mostly by recent immigrants, both illegal and legal. Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau raided Swift & Company plants in six states. Agents, some wearing riot gear, locked down the plants and divided employees by citizenship status. The expressed purpose of Operation Wagon Train was to crack down on identity theft, but only 65 charges were filed against 1282 people arrested. It's alleged that some of those arrested were separated from their families, even though they were legal residents who left their papers at home. Scattered families are trying to get back together where meatpacking is all that keeps towns together. Will the incident spark immigration reform in the new Congress?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.