What are the stories of the people who line up seeking work outside home improvement stores, storage facilities, the local U-Haul truck rental center?
KPCC intern Caro Rolando and reporter Corey Bridwell didn't have to go far to find out. A group of day laborers gathers early each morning at a U-Haul location in Pasadena down the street from the station, among them this young man from the coastal Mexican state of Sinaloa, who agreed to be interviewed so long as he wasn't identified.
He shared was what it's like working as a jornalero without papers on the margins of the labor force, and the inherent insecurity of it, financial and otherwise.
Proposed federal legislation that seeks to limit worker exploitation was introduced in the House of Representatives last month. Under the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act, undocumented workers who suffer severe labor violations, abuse or employer retaliation could be considered for temporary legal status under what's known as the U Visa, typically reserved for crime victims. Those involved in or witnesses to a workplace claim could also be granted a stay of removal.