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Stories by Susan Ferriss

As guest workers increase, so do concerns about wage cheating

From 2005 to 2020, U.S. employers around the country were ordered to pay more than $42.5 million in back wages to 69,000 workers who perform seasonal low-wage jobs on H-2A and H-2B visas - but labor advocates are worried that many more workers are being cheated.... Read more»0

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Cheating workers on the U.S.-Mexico border

Since January alone, the U.S. Department of Labor has reached back-wage agreements with two San Diego companies that underpaid Mexican nationals, in pesos, for work done at warehouses on the U.S. side of the border. ... Read more»0

Investigation

Trump admin knew migrant children would suffer from family separations, but ramped up practice anyway

Newly obtained government documents show how the Trump administration’s now-blocked policy to separate all migrant children from parents led social workers to frantically begin tracking thousands of children seized at the southern border and compile reports on cases of trauma.... Read more»1

Employers escape sanctions, while undocumented risk lives & prosecution

Over a 12-month period ending in March, only 11 individuals were prosecuted for hiring undocumented workers and only three received any jail time. Companies prosecuted for undocumented employees: zero.... Read more»0

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America. Lawyers and feds are scrambling to unravel the truth from kids fleeing Central America.... Read more»0

Activists: Stop giving military hardware to school cops

More than 20 national education and civil rights advocates sent a letter September 15 to Department of Defense officials, urging them to stop giving U.S. school police departments anti-mine vehicles, military-grade firearms like M16s, and even grenade launchers.... Read more»0

MALDEF challenges Texas town's ban on housing border kids

Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday challenging a Texas city’s ban on providing housing to “refugees” or foreigners such as the Central American children who’ve been turning themselves in at the border. League City's ordinance cites concerns of diseases, Islamic terrorism.... Read more»1

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare & legal help in rush to deport?

Child legal advocates are worried some Central American kids turning themselves in at the border could be returned to peril if Congress amends laws to speed up their repatriation to home countries. ... Read more»0

Obama announces program to aid minority youth

'My Brother's Keeper' is a $200 million program aimed at keeping minority youth out of the criminal justice system.... Read more»0

New immigration bill provides ray of hope for separated families

The new immigration proposal now before the Senate could help thousands of American citizens whose families have been shattered or forced into exile because of deportation and tough immigration penalties Congress adopted in 1996.... Read more»0

New report highlights disproportionate school discipline for minorities

Researchers analyzing a trove of national school discipline data have found that as black, disabled and English-as-a-second language students enter middle and high schools, their school suspension rates start soaring – a serious predicator for dropping out. ... Read more»1

Criminologists' critique questions NRA task force school safety strategy

Just as a National Rifle Association task force unveiled its “National School Shield” report this week, a detailed critique from three criminologists termed the gun lobby’s push for enhanced school security “superficially simple.”... Read more»0

Researchers: Kids' mental health affected by deportation surge

An unprecedented surge in deportations in recent years has affected tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of American children. The traumatic experience of losing a parent for an entire childhood is certain to have a profound impact on the mental health of these U.S. citizen children, according to researchers.... Read more»0

Controversy over cops in schools flares anew

In post-Newtown America, those with power say they must act to prevent another massacre of innocents. The Obama administration wants stiffer gun control, and $150 million to help schools hire up to 1,000 more on-campus police or counselors, or purchase security technology.... Read more»0

Dramatic decline in youth incarceration; Az cuts jailed youth by 50%

The United States still leads the industrialized world in incarcerating young people, and ethnic-minority kids are still locked up more than whites. But there is good news: Since 1995, the rate at which states confine young people has been steadily dropping; Arizona cut the number of jailed youth in half.... Read more»0

Torn apart by immigration laws, families make case to Congress

Americans whose spouses have been exiled for years as a result of strict immigration penalties took their plight to Congress on Thursday, begging legislators to help them as lawmakers discuss overhauling immigration laws.... Read more»0

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