David Bacon

David Bacon is a California writer and photojournalist; his latest book is The Right to Stay Home (Beacon Press, 2014).

Recent Articles

Braceros Strike After One Worker Dies

Risking deportation, Washington state farmworkers protest dangerous conditions in the fields.

(Photo: Edgar Franks)
(Photo: Edgar Franks) A farmworker’s death in the broiling fields of Washington state has prompted his fellow braceros to put their livelihoods in jeopardy by going on strike, joining a union, being discharged—and risking deportation. Honesto Silva Ibarra died in Harborview hospital in Seattle on Sunday night, August 6. Silva, a married father of three, was a guest worker—in Spanish, a “contratado”—brought to the United States under the H-2A visa program, to work in the fields. Miguel Angel Ramirez Salazar, another contratado, says Silva went to his supervisor at Sarbanand Farms last week, complaining that he was sick and couldn’t work. “They said if he didn’t keep working, he’d be fired for ‘abandoning work.’ But after a while he couldn’t work at all.” Silva finally went to the Bellingham Clinic, about an hour south of the farm where he was working, in Sumas, close to the Canadian border. By then it was too late, however. He was sent to Harborview, where he collapsed and died. Silva’...

Fire and ICE: The Return of Workplace Immigration Raids

Undocumented workers face a new level of insecurity under the Trump administration.

Erik McGregor/Sipa via AP Images
Erik McGregor/Sipa via AP Images Members of Brandworkers call for an emergency solidarity march in Long Island City, Queens on March 22, 2017, in solidarity with immigrant workers at Tom Cat Bakery fighting ICE after being told by owners that ICE has given them a certain timeline to provide their employees worker status or be fired. Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political, and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. A t the end of February immigration agents descended on a handful of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, and in nearby Meridian. Fifty-five immigrant cooks, dishwashers, servers and bussers were loaded into vans and taken to a detention center about 160 miles away in Jena, Louisiana. Their arrests and subsequent treatment did more than provoke outrage among Jackson's immigrant rights activists. Labor advocates in California also took note of the...

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