There are several major U.S. Border cities – San Diego, El Paso, Detroit – just to name a few. For anyone who grew up in a U.S. border town, crossing the border was a regular event. People would cross for shopping, recreation, even work or school. When border crossing became more difficult after the 9-11 terror attacks, commerce in border towns was affected.
Although the U.S.-Mexico war of 1848 split Laredo, Texas in two when the Rio Grande became the international border, relations between “los dos Laredos” have always been good. The family and business ties were so strong that for decades, Laredo has been the nation’s largest land port for commerce. But a few years ago, rampant border violence on the Mexican side seriously changed the community. The violence, fueled by dueling drug gangs, has since moved to other border regions. As reporter Ruxandra Guidi reports, Laredo is now adjusting to the post-violence phase of its relationship with its Mexican counterpart.
A labor dispute in Chicago at the end of 2008 caught the nation's attention. What made it so newsworthy was a confluence of unique factors stemming from the economic issues facing the country. The controversial bank bailout of 2008 was supposed to ease the nation's credit crisis. But one bank that received billions in bailout funds had cut off credit to a Chicago-based manufacturer, forcing the plants closing.
When the company said the bank refused to extend credit to pay for benefits and salary for 60 days as required under federal law, the local union, led mainly by immigrants and supported by a multicultural coalition of workers, decided to occupy the plant until "justice" was given them.
Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions spoke at length to the worker leaders and brings us their story titled, "Si Se Puede: Chicago Workers’ Sit-in."