This month’s media coverage includes an article that focuses on the ways that the U.S. has relied on the labor of those who harvest our food as essential, yet also does not offer a path to documentation–a fact the pandemic is bringing to light. Additionally, we include a summary and analysis of a KBI Facebook Live event featuring the voices of migrants in Nogales and the pressures the U.S. is putting on Mexican factories to remain open, in spite of the death and illness the decision is causing.
1) Migrant Farmworkers Are Essential: This opinion piece was written by a former farmworker who reflects on the ways that the migrants who harvest our food—as well as those who work in multiple other industries such as healthcare and meatpacking—are at once considered essential and denied any of the rights of people with documentation. This truth lays bare, the author says, the U.S.’ desire to “have it both ways—it wants to be fed. And it wants to demonize those who make that happen.” The piece further argues for the legalization of farmworkers. Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-essential-workers.html
2) Migrants at KBI Share Experiences: On April 23, over a dozen people in migration shared their experiences living and waiting in Nogales to a Facebook Live audience. They spoke of the reasons they were forced to leave home; the closure of local shelters; what it is like to be in migration during a pandemic; and what their next steps might be. Read more about the testimonies here: https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/04/30/refugees-outreach-center-share-hardships-experienced-during-pandemic
3) Illness and Death at American-Owned Factories in Mexico: The Trump administration and U.S. manufacturers have successfully lobbied to keep maquiladoras in Mexico open, in spite of the fact that workers are falling ill and dying from the coronavirus. This move prioritizes U.S. business needs ahead of Mexican public health efforts. Additionally, it highlights the interwoven and complex relationships between the two countries’ markets—and the ways that delivering products has ultimately come before the well-being and health of workers. Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/world/americas/coronavirus-mexico-factories.html