California, Michael Greenberg, Jeff Sessions discussed on Press Play with Madeleine Brand
The street. I spoke with Michael Greenberg earlier. Yes, yes. This has been a really. Really troubling and unfortunate byproduct of the Trump administration's anti immigration policies and coupled with California's sanctuary law, which is a wonderful Lawrence spirit ice has responded by going to war centrally with California and former attorney general Jeff Sessions was pretty clear about this how how absolutely aghast he was at California's laws. So you have a cordon Tara in this quite isolated valley made famous by Steinbeck and carry McWilliams and the highest value farm valleys in the world dependent on cheap labor, and these laborers, some of whom have been here for ten fifteen twenty twenty-five years, our children, our citizens who were born here are really living in a state of. Constant fear and surveillance from ice both and marked and unmarked cars now, this is a rural area. So it can be very obvious when you're being followed when ice agents or are parked when you pick up your children at school when they're parked in the parking lot of your apartment building where you live casing out people in supermarkets, this just a sense, very strong sense of fear, and a sense that the government policy is to deport as many undocumented immigrants as they can and have others leave on their own because it just becomes untenable to live in this state of fear. Utilise story of a young woman in eighteen year old young woman named her FINA Garcia and what happened to her family. When her parents thought that they were being followed by an unmarked ice car. Can you talk about that? Yes. We'll Rufina is eighteen years old the only adult in a family five children her parents had come here. Sixteen and a half years ago when she was one and a half all her siblings. Four of them were born here and both parents worked in the fields. They were migrant workers they work mostly the central valley. Maybe they went over to the coastal valley occasionally into watsonville and they picked, and that's how they lived. And I started to case them out. They noticed ice cars following them hanging around them when they picked up their children at school. And really it turned out ice was interested in the brother of the father who had an old DUI a DUI that had been settled and did not involve reckless driving. But nevertheless, they were after him. As is often is with infractions that they can use deportable. Offenses Santos says the father is called and Marcellina his wife dropped their daughter not Rufina, but a yellow daughter often RFK. High school and Kern county and ice follow them is flashed it's lights pull them over Santos obeyed as the ice agents approached the car he panicked afraid that he would be wrenched from his children because he was undocumented drove off at high speed was pursued and his car flipped over. And both Rufina parents were killed. Not really set off protests and outrage in in that community of undocumented workers, even though other things had happened in the past with ice this. This is seen as particularly egregious because because why this couple hasn't done anything wrong. So have you ever done anything wrong? And they were hardworking foam workers four of whose children were American citizens and are needed for workers. By the way, there's the biggest shortage, and perhaps ninety years of labor in the Senate king valley, partly because anti-immigrant laws, and so you could look at it in one way, it is an unfortunate accident, but there's another way of looking at it. And that's the way farmworkers in the valley looked at it as a galvanizing event that really was emblematic of the state of terror and fear and surveillance that they were living in and they saw this as rather a natural outcrop, even if an unusual one of their situation these vs. The immigration authorities. Well, as you said earlier Jeff Sessions, basically took the sanctuary law that the state adopted as a provocation, and I guess I'm wondering if people now see that as an there's an unfortunate consequence to this law that perhaps if the law hasn't been implemented ice wouldn't be exerting such a strong presence in these communities, and that may be the now would rather not have the sanctuary law. Well, growers in in the Santa king valley, the very large landholders big growers would prefer that there were no sanctuary law because it's interfering with their workforce. It's definitely it would be hard to blame California for a law that really the spirit of it was to protect its workers. It's on documented workers badly needed for its economy and tax paying workers, by the way, but should the sanctuary. Loss should California capitulate and give up at sanctuary laws. I I wouldn't think so I think California's within its rights and and actually inspiring to the rest of the country in taking this position. But the problem is is that I sees it as a defiance. So they say, okay, we're gonna crack down further and make it really hard for everyone. And who suffers the farmworkers in the growers probably aren't happy about it. Because they have fewer workers growers very unhappy about it, and they're really beside themselves. I mean, millions of dollars in crop has has been plowed under in recent years. You know, better economic opportunities in central and northern Mexico have decreased the number of Mexican workers that need to or willing were lured by jobs in the US. And certainly the the cost of coming. The fear that's involved having to pay a smuggler or a Coyote, which can put you in debt for life makes it even less attractive, but still in southern Mexico in Oaxaca and Guerrero in the poorer states of Mexico, very often inhabited by mistake. Oh, indigenous people, this is this is really at the moment, the workforce for California's foreign workers, and they're very hard working and very sort of extrordinary workers and and the skilled so they're underpaid. Basically Americans won't do the work were contractors in California have noted that when they offer four dollars more than minimum wage. They can't get citizens to work somewhere. Contractors are offering twenty dollars an hour, and they can't get American citizens or legal residents to work. So these pickers. Are essential. That's journalist and author Michael Greenberg. You can read his article about the San Joaquin valley in the New York review of books. What happened when net flex tried to appease Saudi Arabia by pulling comedy episode, critical of the crown prince big tech and censorship next. Good afternoon..