Top stories: Maquiladora workers dying, hunger strike, rural census


COVID-19 killing many young maquiladora workers, study shows 

A researcher in Mexico has discovered that young people who contract COVID-19 in Baja California are dying at a rate 25 times higher than the same demographic just north of the border in San Diego County. The same study discovered most of the young people who are dying live in border cities like Tijuana and had jobs or ties to maquiladoras, which are assembly plants in Mexico operated by foreign interests including the United States. Read Salvador Rivera’s full report.

Hunger strike enters 2nd week at South Texas immigrant detention facility 

At least one immigrant at the Port Isabel Detention Facility in South Texas is entering his second week on a hunger strike, telling immigrant advocates that he is protesting the close quarters in which detainees live without enough protections from COVID-19. Norma Herrera, a community organizer for the grassroots coalition Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, told Border Report on Friday that 40-year-old Yoirlan Tome Rojas, of Cuba, has missed 21 meals during a week-long hunger strike that began on May 29. She says he is protesting the cramped living conditions where he fears contracting coronavirus during this ongoing pandemic. Read Sandra Sanchez’s full report.

Census 2020 ramps up with delivery of 5.1 million questionnaires to rural homes 

Rural Far West Texas communities are falling behind in responding to the 2020 census. Hudspeth, Culberson and Jeff Davis counties are reporting response rates in the teens, while Presidio County has one of the lowest rates in the nation at 7.3%, according to the 2020 Census website. That’s expected to change starting next week, when census employees begin dropping off questionnaires at homes in rural areas. Read Julian Resendiz’s full report.

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