Battle Begins over the Cost of the Wall – The U.S. Congress has begun its battle over the first budget proposal by President Trump. The draft budget includes $1.5 billion for the initial construction of the wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and more than $1 billion to finance deportation efforts. In early discussions, Senate Democrats threatened to paralyze the federal government if Republicans insist on requesting money for indiscriminate arrests of immigrants. José López Zamorano has the details from Washington.
Environmental Catastrophe Caused by Lead Dust in East L.A. – Nearly a year after California Governor Jerry Brown authorized spending for a large-scale cleanup effort in six largely Latino cities east of Los Angeles that were contaminated by tons of lead dust, people in the affected area are complaining of delays and discrimination in the handling of the crisis. The critics include a prominent toxicologist who says he warned for decades of the imminent environmental catastrophe associated with a battery recycling plant. This week, government officials held a public event with neighbors and activists in the contaminated zone, which some believe is worse than the problem in Flint, Michigan, where lead was found in the water supply. Rubén Tapia reports from the forum in Los Angeles.
Cesar Chavez Celebrated Around the US – Veteran Organizer Remembers Him. – Today, the United States celebrates the birthday of social activist Cesar Chavez, a leader of the rural poor who founded the United Farm Workers union. Among the labor leaders inspired by Chavez is Baldemar Velásquez, who founded the Farm Labor Organizing Committee some 50 years ago in Ohio. In this conversation with our news director, Samuel Orozco, Velásquez reflects on Chavez’s legacy and discusses the current state of the campaign to organize the workers of the cigarette giant Reynolds in the tobacco fields of North Carolina.