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City Rising

The Informal Economy: Immigration and the Demand for Low-Wage Work

While some argue that immigrants in this country drain public resources or prefer informal work to evade fiscal responsibility, experts say many work untraditional jobs because they lack proper access to the traditional labor market. The Bracero guest worker program, the National Origin Act and the Chinese Exclusion Act show how immigration policy opens or closes depending on the country’s need for low-wage labor.

In Eastern Coachella Valley, Santos and Juana Barajas share that both of their fathers came to work in the U.S. as part of the Bracero program. Today, the entrepreneurial Barajas own their own date ranch, in hopes they can leave it behind as a legacy for their grandchildren. However, their small-scale farm efforts are thwarted by large wholesale companies that block their access to a market where they can sell their product.

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Season
People marching during the Oakland teacher strike. | Image from "City Rising: Youth & Democracy"
Episode
56:39
City Rising

Youth & Democracy

This third season of the “City Rising” series will demystify the role and work of youth organizations in California, demonstrating how young people are organizing their communities to participate in public policy and make lasting change.
Caridad - Los Angeles Street Vending Campaign - City Hall
Episode
56:52
City Rising

The Informal Economy

California is the world's fifth largest economy — yet, hiding in plain sight are workers who labor off the books, unprotected and unregulated. Follow four California workers organizing to find pathways for legalization and protection.
Aerial view of Los Angeles
Episode
56:39
City Rising

Gentrification and Displacement

City Rising shows how gentrification is deeply rooted in a history of discriminatory laws and practices in the United States.
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