Irma Cuc Cac prepares corn tortillas in the kitchen of her home in Xucup, a small village of mostly farmers in Panzós, Guatemala. She wanted to be sure they did the trip as safely as possible — and she figured her military training would hold them in good stead. They paid the smuggler — known as a coyote — almost $4,000 for each of them to make the trip, money they got in a loan from the bank. They each were allowed to bring one of their sons, who were both under 13 years old at the time. Miriam Cuc Cac hands her sister Irma Cuc Cac a container with cooked corn for making tortillas at her home in Aldea Xucup, located in Panzós, Guatemala. | Josue Decavele for POLITICO Their trek began with have a peek at this website a seven-hour bus to Huehuetenango, the starting point for many migrants leaving Guatemala to head north. And right away, Miriam sensed something was wrong with the coyote, who was the brother of the coyote who took Irma’s husband to the U.S. First, the coyote told them they couldn’t bring their phones, then handed them phones that had no service. He told them they had to wait in a hotel for three days before they could continue the trek in Mexico. They ended up waiting 15 days, worried. Then he tried — multiple times — to separate the adults from the children. And at one point, he wanted to send Irma’s son alone with a young man also heading to the U.S.-Mexico border. The sisters refused, raising a fuss until the coyote relented. Looking back, Miriam is convinced that her military credentials — and her willingness to confront the coyotes — kept them safe from harm. But in the end, Mexican officials captured them in the middle of the trek through Mexico. They were held in Mexico — they’re not sure where — for about 8 days before they were deported, hundreds of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border where they’d hoped to find opportunity. “Sure, they fed us while [we were] detained there. But why would I want to eat?” Miriam said. “My dream was to make it, so I can get ahead and help my family.


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New York City Council moves to improve building construction safety Construction employers Construction site safety Construction worker safety New York New York City New York state New York — The New York City Council has introduced five construction safety bills and thousands of proposed amendments to the city’s building construction codes. According to a New York City Department of Buildings press release issued April 22, the legislation and revisions are aimed at protecting construction workers and the public. Previous safety efforts led by DOB, including the implementation of an unprecedented construction safety training requirement, resulted in a 34% decrease in injuries on building construction sites from 2018 to 2020, the release adds. One of the bills – Intro 2278 – calls for all general contractors to be licensed by DOB and would require license applicants to meet certain qualifications. It also would allow DOB to take disciplinary action, including suspending and revoking licenses, against contractors, if necessary. Under Intro 2263 , DOB-licensed site safety coordinators or managers would be required on major construction projects that are seven stories and higher. Meanwhile, Intro 2276 would require DOB-licensed construction superintendents to serve full-time alongside SSCs or SSMs on worksites that are seven stories and higher. Intro 2264 is aimed at enhancing safety requirements for professionals performing cold-formed steel light-frame construction work, while Intro 2262 would permanently prohibit the use of stand-off brackets for C-hook suspended scaffold installations. In addition, 627 new or expanded changes to existing codes have been proposed, along with thousands of minor changes. If implemented, they’d be the first comprehensive update to city construction codes since 2014, the release states. The proposed code revisions include those related to construction safety, elevator safety, emergency response, fire protection, and building system construction and inspection. Among the changes targeting construction safety enhancement are: Create a new license type for advanced crane technology, such as articulating boom cranes and roto-telehandlers, to ensure the equipment is operated safely. Improve the safety and consistency of the underpinning of existing buildings. “We must strive for safety through thoughtful legislation that incorporates the input from a wide range of stakeholders,” City Council member Robert E. Cornegy Jr., chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee, said in the release. “I do not accept that construction deaths are inevitable. I do not accept that buildings should explode from gas leaks or that elevator mishaps lead to death.”