Author: Omaid Zabih

Take Action: The 4th Coronavirus Relief Package must include All Americans

As the country continues to navigate the public health and economic crisis, it is critical for Congress to respond to the vital needs of our communities by passing an inclusive, fourth coronavirus relief package. This legislation must ensure that testing, medical care, financial relief, food assistance, and foster care funding covers all Americans, regardless of immigration status. As federal policymakers… Read more →

Take Action: Support paid sick and family leave that protects all Americans

Last week, the House passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, to address the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus. This legislation focused on supporting families as we all prioritize the safety and well-being of our communities across the state by including paid sick and family leave, expanding unemployment insurance, food assistance, increased Medicaid funding, and free COVID-19… Read more →

Take Action: Tell your Representatives to support The NO BAN Act

This week, the House will vote on The NO BAN Act, which would repeal the Trump administration’s destructive Muslim, asylum, and refugee bans, and limits future administrations from enacting similar bans. Nebraskans recognize the great contributions new families bring to our communities. These harmful policies run contrary to Nebraska’s values of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers by cruelly turning our… Read more →

Take Action: Dream and Promise Act passed the House Judiciary!

Last week, the American Dream and Promise Act passed out of the House Judiciary committee. These bills would provide protections to Dreamers and longtime residents with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status who are part of the fabric of communities across our state of Nebraska and the nation. Did you know the average age of a… Read more →

Statement: A Step in the Right Direction for Positive Immigration Laws

***For Immediate Release*** Thursday, May 23, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director (402) 438-8853 Ext. 119 mcazarez@neappleseed.org A Step in the Right Direction for Positive Immigration Laws Longtime immigrant Nebraskans need permanent protections to continue contributing to local communities   LINCOLN – Yesterday, the Dream Act and American Promise Act passed out of the House Judiciary committee. These positive, long… Read more →

How the Federal Shutdown Impacts SNAP in Nebraska

If you are one of the 166,000 people in Nebraska who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or if you are considering applying for SNAP benefits, you may be wondering how the partial government shutdown may impact SNAP in Nebraska. Here are the important things for you to know: If you have a January recertification deadline,… Read more →

Take Action – Reject White House’s latest cruel, anti-immigrant plan

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a proposal that would radically alter immigration law and undermine our nation’s long-standing commitment to welcoming immigrants. The proposal would stop many aspiring Americans from being able to become lawful permanent residents if they have used certain work-support programs or temporary safety nets that help many hard-working families continue their jobs and move out… Read more →

Fight back against the House’s anti-Dreamer bills

Over the past few years, Nebraskans across the state have stood with hard-working, talented young Dreamers, whose roots have been planted in this state since childhood. Dreamers like Joseline and Joel grew up in Nebraska, went to our schools, and are starting their careers here. Now, they and their families are under threat and need our help. At a time… Read more →

Public pressure leads Tyson Foods to announce intent to improve work conditions

For many years, meat and poultry workers, together with a broad coalition of workers’ rights and civil rights groups from across the country, have continued a concerted effort to highlight the industry’s dangerous conditions and the all-too-common permanently disabling injuries that come from crippling work speeds. Oxfam America – together with these allies – began a poultry worker justice campaign… Read more →

Agency cites poultry processor for worker safety violations

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued over 20 citations to Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the largest poultry processors in the country, for violations of health and safety standards. Notably, OSHA took an important step to address the shoddy and dangerous medical treatment of poultry workers by citing Pilgrim’s Pride for failing to provide appropriate medical care… Read more →

No Relief: New Study shows Poultry Workers regularly denied Bathroom Breaks

While meatpacking and poultry workers have to deal with crippling work speeds every day that cause high rates of devastating and permanent injuries, they also suffer other abuses and indignities at work which undermine their safety and health. One of the most common issues that workers consistently point to as a serious safety risk is that employers routinely deny workers… Read more →

Yet another worker survey reveals crippling conditions and abuse in poultry plants

The Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center (NWAWJC) recently released a superb report on Arkansas’ poultry industry called “Wages and Working Conditions in Arkansas Poultry Plants.” The report, which examines a large industry in Arkansas – the state ranks second in the U.S. for broiler production– comes soon after an excellent report on the poultry industry from Oxfam America. NWAWJC surveyed an… Read more →

Appleseed joins Supreme Court brief on deferred action

Earlier this week, Nebraska Appleseed joined a coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups to file an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court. The brief urged the Court to review Texas v. United States, a case that has temporarily blocked implementation of the President’s administrative relief programs for those who qualify for expanded Deferred… Read more →

Tell large chicken companies that workers deserve safe conditions, fair pay

Oxfam America has recently released an expansive and troubling report on America’s poultry industry entitled “Lives on the Line: The Human Cost of Cheap Chicken”. (you can also read a pdf version of the report here) The report’s immersive website contains many eye-opening and informative web graphics and videos. The excellent report documents many personal stories from workers, unpacks the… Read more →

More evidence work speed takes crippling toll on meatpacking and poultry workers

Earlier this month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a study of a Maryland poultry plant which found that 34 percent of workers had carpal tunnel syndrome while an alarming 76 percent exhibited signs of nerve damage. As NIOSH noted in a blog post accompanying the release of its report, more than half of the positions… Read more →

Appleseed joins legal support for administrative relief to keep families together

This week, Nebraska Appleseed joined more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups in an amicus brief urging the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a harmful decision that temporarily blocked implementation of the President’s administrative relief program to keep families together. The brief highlights the benefits of administrative relief for our economy and the value to… Read more →

Workers’ compensation cuts are putting injured workers into poverty

Last Wednesday, ProPublica and NPR launched a detailed and extensive series on the troubling trend of states reducing workers’ compensation benefits over the past 10 years. These reductions – drastic in some states – have left workers who were injured on the job without support for medical treatment and recovery to get back to work. In fact, the report states… Read more →

The Nation highlights the costs of massive work speed ups

For those following the longstanding problems of high injury rates and relentless work speeds in meat and poultry processing, this may sound familiar. An important new article from The Nation, “Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People,” outlines how “the jobless recovery means massive speedups for many workers you depend on.” In industries as varied as nursing, meatpacking,… Read more →

Federal investigation reveals plant routinely exposed workers to serious injuries

Yesterday, OSHA issued 11 serious safety and health citations to Wayne Farms, resulting in fines over $100,000. The agency found that one of Wayne Farms’ poultry plants in Alabama exposed workers to dangerous musculoskeletal hazards and serious injuries, and failed to accurately record and manage injuries suffered by workers. OSHA documented what medical evidence, reports, and surveys have shown for… Read more →

Every U.S. President since Eisenhower has taken Executive Action on Immigration

According to a new report by the American Immigration Council (AIC), ever since the United States Congress first passed a comprehensive immigration law in 1952, every one of the 11 U.S. Presidents since have used their legal authority to take executive action on immigration. This report — as well as a handy “By the Numbers” summary from the Center for… Read more →

Humanitarian crisis requires acting in children’s best interests

Note: This post by Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey and Immigrants & Communities staff attorney Omaid Zabih addresses the recent humanitarian crisis in Central America that has resulted in children seeking asylum in the U.S. Tens of thousands of children from Central America have been forced to flee from their home countries to the border due to unimaginable violence.… Read more →

Congressmen, Workers, and Advocates ask USDA to pluck the Poultry Rule

Yesterday, U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (Mississippi), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), and Shelia Jackson-Lee (Texas), along Hilary O. Shelton, the NAACP’s senior vice president for policy and advocacy, joined poultry workers in Washington, D.C., to strongly urge the Obama Administration to stop the USDA’s proposed poultry rule. This proposal would permit poultry processing plants to increase the speed of the processing line,… Read more →

House takes steps toward new immigration laws

Last week, the House Republican leadership released a set of principles for updating our country’s immigration laws. We were encouraged to see the release of these principles as an indication that this year’s legislative agenda will include immigration reform, which unfortunately stalled in the House after the Senate passed a historic bipartisan bill last year. This inaction – in the… Read more →

“Warning horns should blast full force” about proposed Poultry Rule

The Charlotte Observer has published two strong pieces in the past few days that address the risks of the USDA’s proposed poultry rule — a rule that would increase line speeds to a punishing 175 birds per minute and decrease the number of federal inspectors in favor of company-trained (or not trained) employees. These changes would considerably increase the risk… Read more →

Increased line speeds means more risk to food and worker safety

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has published a compelling piece today by Ted Genoways who examines the work and food safety issues of five U.S. pork plants that have been participating in a pilot program that increases the processing line’s work speed and reduces the number of federal inspectors, including the Hormel plant in Fremont, Nebraska. This pilot program is identical to the… Read more →