DURAND, Wis. — Twenty-six-year-old Rosa Jiménez and her husband, Manuel, 36, used to do the grocery shopping together. They would take the kids and make a day of it. But, lately, Manuel goes alone. Read on in this new report from Wisconsin Public Radio.
The nexus for this story came when I was searching through Department of Labor foreign labor certifications.
I came across 41 certifications for H-1B workers to go to work in Harlem, Mont.
Harlem is a tiny town up on the Hi-Line, an area of Montana along the Canadian border that is basically the middle of nowhere. I couldn’t see why any organization would base a high-tech work center up there, and I certainly wondered where all these foreign workers would live.
Withholding pay, stealing documents and under-reporting hours are all common examples of employe abuses when it comes to migrant labor. A recent Government Accountability Office report highlighted areas where the U.S. visa system can be improved. It mainly focused on better keeping tabs on employer information, as the multiple federal departments that monitor migrant labor and visas do not work together.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting hosted the "Covering the U.S. Visa System in Your Own Backyard" workshop April 10 - 12. Workshop events took place at Columbia College in Chicago, and speakers included veteran reporters and legal experts. Here's a summary of the first workshop event.
Each year, thousands of people are allowed to stay in the United States under special visas because they are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking or criminal activity. Nubia Willman, a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, spoke extensively about the U-visas and T-visas at this month’s Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting’s workshop, “Covering the U.S. visa system in your own backyard.”
Miguel Keberlein Gutiérrez, supervisory attorney for the Illinois Migrant Legal Assistance Project, discussed the most common work visas in the United States during his session a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting workshop on April 11. During his presentation, he also summarized one powerful example of system abuse when a migrant laborer died.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting hosted a workshop on "Covering the U.S. Visa System in Your Own Backyard" this April. During one of the workshop sessions, Knight Chair and veteran investigative reporter Brant Houston highlighted key resources reporters can use to research stories. These are a few of the top tools.