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OFF-KILTER with Rebecca Vallas

Jul 13, 2018

Families aren’t just being separated at the border. Every day, parents in communities across the U.S. have their children taken from them as punishment simply for being poor, under the guise of protecting children from neglect. Congresswoman Gwen Moore knows what this is like from personal experience—she battled to retain custody of her oldest daughter, while she was struggling to make ends meet as a young mother. Recently, she introduced legislation to stop other families from being separated for the crime of being poor. Rebecca speaks with the Congresswoman about her own experience being punished for her poverty—and about her new bill.

Later in the show, wage theft is often viewed as a civil issue. But the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has taken it on as a major priority for criminal prosecutions—and with a focus on construction workers, as part of a larger initiative to protect and fight for a group of workers who don’t just risk their lives in some of the most dangerous working conditions… but can also be left wondering if they’ll even get paid. To hear more about how some of New York City’s top law enforcement officials are taking the fight on behalf of the city’s construction workers to the courtroom, Rebecca speaks with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Hilda Lin Colon, the coordinator of the Construction Fraud Task Force.

But first, what’s at stake for low-income workers and families if Brett Kavanaugh gets confirmed to the Supreme Court; good news out of Kentucky (for now) on Medicaid; DC Council introduces a bill to overturn the will of the voters by repealing Initiative 77, the minimum wage increase for tipped workers that passed last month; Jeremy gets engaged (!!); and other news of the week ICYMI.