Recent features include a look at a potential guestworker proposal even worse than the original Bracero program, the controversy around a Mosque in Silicon Valley, and the ways in which undocumented immigrants are being shut out of the recovery process in California’s Wine Country.
Earlier in 2017, I wrote “A Death on the Mainland,” which appeared in the March issue of Vice Magazine. It is an investigation into the death of a young man sent by the state of Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert. Due to overcrowding, Hawaii has sent thousands of inmates to the mainland for more than two decades, most to for-profit prisons run by the Corrections Corporation of American–recently renamed CoreCivic–the largest such company in the world.
In 2016, I did several articles for Slate, in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, that looked at work and workplace abuses. These included a behind-the-scenes look at the low-wage workers who made Super Bowl 50 possible–I was one of them–which led to a class action lawsuit. I spoke to NPR’s “Only a Game” program about the lawsuit, which the LA Times also covered. In the same series, I wrote about the horrendous conditions faced by turkey plant workers in the run up to Thanksgiving, and of the rampant wage theft in California’s fields. In 2016 I also wrote about Emeryville, a tiny city in the Bay Area that boasts the highest minimum wage in the country. “This is What $15 an Hour Looks Like” was published in the Nation, and looks at the impact of a higher minimum wage for workers.
Other recent articles include a piece for the Virginia Quarterly Review called “The Forgotten Village,” in which I return to the same region and labor camp that inspired John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Before that was “Burn After Reading” for Harper’s, about the strange history of The Anarchist Cookbook. Previous investigative projects have focused on child farmworkers who harvest tobacco, an undercover look at the temp warehouse workers who make online shopping possible, and the largely invisible Latino immigrants who are the backbone of the golf industry. That last one was for Golf Digest, and won the Sidney Award for “socially-conscious journalism.” You can hear me talk to WNYC’s Leonard Lopate about the Steinbeck piece here and tobacco article here; to NPR’s Morning Edition about the warehouse piece here; or to Marketplace about the golf story here.
Below are links to more writing, divided by publication.