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Paul Bailey, a civil engineer, has pleaded guilty in connection to the death of a construction worker, Luis Sánchez Almonte, who died after a retaining wall collapsed in Brooklyn. The case marks a rare criminal indictment in an industry that sees many wrongful deaths stemming from safety issues. Documented recently had experts break down how companies evade accountability for worker’s deaths, and how surviving families are left with little compensation. Regardless of the coming verdict in this case, the civil engineer will likely not face jail time as Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, presiding over the court case, dropped a manslaughter charge in a plea deal. The City
In other local immigration news…
A Koch-funded group is breaking up New York’s unionized car washes
In Documented’s latest report, we took a deep dive into the car wash industry, which for decades has heavily relied on immigrant workers. Labor unions in New York’s car wash industry have combatted exploitative owners who have relied on gross underpayment and wage theft. Flushing, Queens’ Jomar Car Wash exemplifies those struggles. Documented shows how a foundation with deep connections to the Koch Brothers and the ultra-right John Birch Society worked with a Jomar Car Wash worker — to decertify the business’ 8-year union.
Not-so-fun fact: The unionization of Jomar Car Wash workers was part of a campaign led by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union where they unionized nine car wash shops, starting in 2012. Today, just three of those shops remain unionized. Kick off this morning by reading Documented’s report.
New report shows demographics of successful asylum claims
A new report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University uses case-by-case immigration court records to show how nationality, language, gender and age play into the success rates of asylum seekers. Asylum grant rates during the Obama administration were at 44% and 29% under Trump; they went up to 49% when President Biden took office. Driven by this data and more analysis, TRAC’s new research shows there have been higher success rates in affirmative immigration court asylum cases over the past 20 years, compared to defensive ones. TRAC