Mom-and-pop landlords have been hit hard by the pandemic. But activists say there’s room for them in the #CancelRent movement.

A woman walks by graffiti in Los Angeles supporting a rent strike during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

Jurdon Gold had been a renter almost his entire life. Born in Oakland, Gold, like many in the Bay Area, had never lived in a house he or his family owned. That changed in 2015 when he and his wife began looking for a new place to live after their wedding. Originally planning to rent, the couple couldn’t find a place they could afford in the East Bay. As they began looking further afield and made peace with the idea of commuting, they spotted a townhouse for sale in Vallejo, about 25 miles north of where Gold grew up. The…


Illustration: Anson Chan

Across the U.S., migrants say they face cramped quarters, soap and disinfectant shortages, and violent threats from guards

When the guards came in on May 6 to tell the detainees that someone in their unit had died, Alberto had already gone 17 days without eating. Dozens of others in the Otay Mesa Detention Center had done the same, he said. The detainee, a Salvadoran named Carlos Escobar-Mejia who had spent decades living in the U.S., had died from complications related to the coronavirus. The news shook Alberto deeply — it embodied exactly why he and 12 other unit-mates had gone on a hunger strike in the first place.

The strike had started in mid-April; by early May, Alberto…


Almost every technology developed at the border in the last two decades now exists in local police departments

A U.S. surveillance camera overlooks the international bridge between Mexico and the United States.
A U.S. surveillance camera overlooks the international bridge between Mexico and the United States.
A U.S. surveillance camera overlooks the international bridge between Mexico and the United States. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Border Patrol’s electronic eyes will spot you long before you spot them.

If you walk along the United States border in remote stretches of New Mexico desert, or in the grasslands between North Dakota and Canada, you might not hear the buzz of what could be flying above you: A Predator drone — the same vehicle that has been outfitted to drop bombs over Afghanistan and Iraq. From five miles away, the drone’s cameras can see so well they can tell if you’re wearing a backpack.

If you’re in the Florida Keys, you may be spotted by an altogether different…

Jack Herrera

…is an independent reporter covering immigration, refugee issues and human rights. His work has appeared in The Nation, Pacific Standard, and USA TODAY.

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