By Doug Porter
We’re “back to the issues” in the race for the 52nd Congressional District in California. Taking a page from the playbook once used by Gov. Pete Wilson, GOP candidate Carl DeMaio announced his five weird tricks for better border security yesterday.
“From illegal immigration to terrorism and Ebola, the reasons for securing our nation’s border have never been more clear,” he told a small group of reporters at a campaign headquarters press conference.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) whipped up the party base on the immigration issue via conference call hosted by TheTeaParty.net on Monday evening. DeMaio beat him to the punch by a few hours, accusing incumbent Scott Peters of being a “rubber stamp” for the failed policies policy of the Obama administration.
There was nothing new in the GOP challenger’s plan, but at least it didn’t show up as plagiarized on any internet searches. It was all about further militarizing the border (build the damn fence) and minimizing the legal process for migrants caught up in the system. Oh, and drones, Lots of drones. Maybe he can come with an app while he’s at it.
From the Times of San Diego:
He said that once these steps are taken, he would advocate expanding visa programs for foreign workers and other immigration reforms. “I believe that securing the border is a fundamental prerequisite to any discussion of immigration reform,” he said.
Asked if a similar fence should be built along the Canadian border, he said the entire security situation must be assessed, but “let’s finish the job of securing the southwestern border.”
The Foreign Worker Visa Scam
Carl DeMaio brought up the subject of visa programs for foreign workers yesterday. Today the Center for Investigative Reporting (via the Guardian) published an exposé of abuses occurring in those programs.
Labor brokers providing Indian high-tech workers to American companies have hijacked a professional visa program, creating an underground system of financial bondage by stealing wages and benefits, even suing workers who quit.
About 840,000 people from around the world work in the United States on temporary visas, intended to help companies seek uniquely talented employees for specific jobs. In the tech realm, labor brokers often sponsor the visas, then contract out the workers to technology companies or government agencies to build databases, test software and complete other technical projects.
For decades, critics have sounded alarms about immigrant tech workers being treated as indentured servants by the worst of these staffing firms, known as “body shops.” In a yearlong investigation, The Center for Investigative Reporting has documented why this exploitation persists – through humiliation, intimidation and legal threats. Judgments against Indian workers sued for quitting their US jobs can exceed $50,000.
The omnibus immigration bill passed by the Senate last year contained measures aimed at stopping abuses in foreign visa programs. With Carl DeMaio, I’ll guess they’ll just have to wait until the fence gets built.
Escondido: No on Prop H in the Lead
Opponents of the “specific plan” for development of 110 acres previously known as the Escondido Country Club got good news this week, as a poll by Probolsky Research indicated voters were leaning their way.
Stuck in the Rough LLC, owned by Hollywood resident Michael Schlesinger, has now dumped over $1 million into drumming up support for its plan. Opponents have spent $58,000.
The poll of Escondido residents conducted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week shows No on H garnering 40% of those surveyed vs 36.7% for Yes on H. About one in five voters remain undecided.
San Diego Free Press covered Proposition H on October 8th. The comments on the article are, in my opinion, even better than the story. (Which I wrote)
UC Nurses Say They’re Not Ready
Registered nurses at three University of California medical centers designated for Ebola treatment are saying they’re not properly prepared.
From CBS8 News:
They are scheduled to hold “speak outs” to alert the public that UC hospitals are not ready to handle Ebola, even though they’re now being promoted as priority hospitals for treating any potential Ebola patients in California.
The speak outs on Ebola readiness will happen Tuesday at UC San Diego, Wednesday at UC San Francisco and Thursday at the UCLA Medical Center.
While University officials insist that hospitals are well prepared, there are 12,000 nurses at five UC medical centers that say they’re not. They’re members of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United.
Another Right Wing Ebola Freak Out
Nurse Kaci Hickox, who was involuntary detained in a tent by order of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie even though she tested negative for Ebola virus, has been allowed to return to her home in Maine, where she’ll voluntary stay home for another 21 days.
Her public denunciations of the detention have attracted the attention of assorted right wing nut jobs around the country.
She’s been denounced as a “left wing Democrat” at two popular web sites, who–gasp–is a Centers for Disease Control Employee. The evidence of her political leaning is a Google search revealing “while in grad school at Johns Hopkins, Hickox was one of four co-signers of an editorial calling on the university to make new drugs available to impoverished countries at generic prices.” (h/t Wonkette)
Maybe we can get Congressman Darrell Issa to investigate.
Race and Gender ‘Taxes’ in the Restaurant Industry
On Tuesday the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United released The Great Service Divide: Occupational Segregation and Inequality in the US Restaurant Industry.
The group surveyed the hiring practices and promotional policies of 273 fine-dining establishments located throughout three principal majority-minority cities: Chicago, Metro-Detroit, and New Orleans.
What they found was widespread race and gender discrimination in the restaurant industry.
The group claims that white, male workers disproportionately hold positions of authority in the restaurant industry and that other employees receive lower earnings despite having the same qualifications.
Workers of color are said to receive 44% of the earnings taken in by similarly qualified white people, leading ROC United to suggest there’s a 56% “race tax” across the industry. Similarly, women were found to pay an 11% “gender tax.” Using a system called matched-pair testing – in which two auditors of similar qualifications but different ethnic backgrounds apply to the same job vacancy – ROC United also says it found that white candidates “were more than twice as likely as candidates of color to receive favorable treatment in the interview process…”
…Although traditional racial and gender discrimination may persist across the low-wage economy, ROC United co-director Saru Jayaraman argued its effects are especially pernicious in the restaurant industry. That’s because the industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, part of America’s transition from a manufacturing based economy to a service sector economy.
Restaurant Busted for Wage Theft
A Market Street “Bertos” got caught stealing from its employees this week.
From UT-San Diego:
Adalberto’s Mexican Restaurant on Market Street has been fined nearly $90,000 for allegedly not paying its employees overtime.
The Department of Labor announced Monday that 12 Adalberto’s employees would collectively receive $44,226 in back wages, and $44,266 in damages, for not being paid time-and-a-half when they worked beyond 40 hours in a week….
…Adalberto’s has 10 locations across California, including one on Rosecrans Street. Adalberto’s operates as a loosely connected franchise model, so investigators only focused on the Market Street location, said Rudy Cortez, the department of labor’s district director for the wage and hour division.
Much of the discussion in the UT online comments focused on whether the workers were “illegals” or not. The ignorance and hate in this town never stops.
On This Day: 1636 – Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts. The original name was Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was the first school of higher education in America. 1879 – Union organizer and anarchist Luisa Capetillo was born in Ariecibo, Puerto Rico. She organized tobacco and other agricultural workers in Puerto Rico and later in New York and Florida. In 1916 she led a successful sugar cane strike of more than 40,000 workers on the island. She demanded that her union endorse voting rights for women. In 1919, three years before her death, she was arrested for wearing pants in public, the first woman in Puerto Rico to do so. The charges were dropped. 1949 – President Harry Truman swore in Eugenie Moore Anderson as the U.S. ambassador to Denmark. Anderson was the first woman to hold the post of ambassador.
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