Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Arizona Anti-undocumented Trespass Law Defeated

The Arizona House of Representatives failed to pass a law that would criminalize the presence of the undocumented in the state through the trespass laws. The bill also would have allowed police to cooperate with federal agents in enforcing immigration laws and would monitor the presence of undocumented children in the schools. A majority of votes were in favor of the bill, but no enough for passage. Significant absentees killed it. But the fight is not over. The Senate had passed the bill. So the idea is very popular. Now its architects are planning a campaign to place the measure on the ballot. (See Arizona Republic article.)

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is in the midst of an organizing campaign at Bank of America (BoA). Like other organizing campaigns -- e.g., to organize hospitals -- the union features claims as to unfair treatment of poor customers. In this case, former branch employees, some let go because of union activity, described how BoA pressured them into aggressively recruiting new customers in Hispanic neighborhoods and among the newly arrived. And the product lines they were pushing were no simple saving and checking accounts, but confusing high interest accounts. BoA strongly denies the SEIU claims and trumpets products that help the unemployed and working class customers. But California consumer advocates agree with SEIU's claims and have already caught BoA out in unfair practices. (See Los Angeles Times article.) SEIU is taking its complaints to congress.

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