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From the good folks at the Farmworker Advocacy Network:

FarmworkersFarmworkers’ Day of the Dead celebration calls for new life in labor issues
Remembering the dead, holiday highlights workers’ plight, lax state protections

RALEIGH, NC – Gathering this Saturday to remember fallen field and poultry workers, North Carolina farmworkers and human rights advocates are set to observe the Day of the Dead in light of current labor hardships. Workers and members of the Farmworker Advocacy Network will gather after El Centro restaurant’s Day of the Dead 5K Run/Walk in downtown Raleigh in honor of the holiday, in which friends and families assemble to celebrate lost loved ones. This year advocates will gather around a traditional Day of the Dead altar at El Centro at 11 a.m. to remember farmworkers who died on the job in North Carolina, including nine children over the last decade. Read More

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Here are some of the important policy matters we’re watching at mid-week:

Wos Watch: Reporters Laura Leslie of WRAL, Joe Neff and Lynn Bonner of the News & Observer have the scoop on the latest wacky hire at the Department of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, Travis Fain of the Greensboro News & Record has compiled a list of what might be termed Aldona’s Greatest Hits (or Misses).

Greed and inequality watch: There’s another report out panning the so-called “Trans-Pacific Partnership.” According to researcher David Rosnick of the Center for Economic Policy Research, most U.S. workers would actually experience a net negative impact from the proposed trade deal that’s currently under negotiation And, of course, you can learn lots more about this critical but underreported story at next Thursday’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon with global trade expert Lori Wallach of the group Public Citizen. Some seats still remain – click here for more info.

Greed and inequality watch – Part II: National Common Cause chairperson and veteran economic justice advocate Robert Reich appears to be garnering quite a bit of well-deserved attention for his new flick: “Inequality for All.” You can watch the official trailer here and an extended interview with Jon Stewart here.  

Knuckleheaded bigot watch: Read More

In case you missed it, the editorial page of the newspaper at the heart of the state’s furniture industry (the High Point Enterprise) didn’t take to kindly to Governor McCrory’s rather odd attack last week in which he claimed that members of the industry helped override his veto of an immigration bill because they wanted to hire undocumented workers. This is from an editorial posted late Friday:

“Our reaction upon first hearing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s comment was: ‘Well, that’s a pretty irresponsible statement.’

Upon further review: Our call is confirmed.

On Wednesday, the GOP-controlled General Assembly overrode McCrory’s veto of a bill broadening state exemptions for using the federal E-Verify system to check immigration status of workers. During a State Board of Education meeting after the Legislature’s vote, McCrory said:

“Some of the manufacturers in towns like High Point worked hard for this bill because they, frankly, want to hire illegal immigrants as opposed to North Carolina workers and paying good wages.”

It’s ironic that McCrory’s comment came amid an educational setting, because his remarks certainly were neither very smart politically — nor factual. Read More

The author of this post is Jelicia Diggs, an intern with the NC Budget and Tax Center

Comprehensive immigration reform will result in revenue gain for states, according to an economic and a fiscal analysis prepared by the Congressional Budget Office on the Senate Immigration reform measure last week. CBO projects that this bill will increase the labor force and expand the American economy by increasing the number of non-citizens allowed to lawfully enter the United States on both temporary and permanent bases.

Immigrants play an essential role in sustaining the economy of North Carolina, and currently comprise nearly 10 percent of the state’s work force. With the adoption of this bill, North Carolina, along with the rest of the U.S., will see economic gains. These gains will outweigh the costs anticipated from the expanded eligibility for public services. Read More

In case you missed it over the weekend, Raleigh’s News & Observer had an encouraging story in the Sunday edition. This is the summary from the good folks at Uniting NC:

Today’s N&O includes a great story about Uniting NC’s most recent volunteer day.

Last Saturday we continued our series of service events  bringing together immigrants and non-immigrants to give back to their community. And again we had lots of great volunteers looking to lend a hand. This time we had over 30 volunteers from 10 different countries.

We sometimes hear cynics tell us that people are coming to the U.S. looking for handouts. They emphasize costs without considering contributions. But have they ever met the people they’re talking about? Read More