As the holidays rapidly approach, our focus shifts to shopping, cooking and decking the halls for the invasion of relatives. But, as we hit the shops, we often forget to take a moment to think about the origins of our chic outfits and abounding feasts (those of us lucky enough to still have these).
Those trendy peacoats and ripe, delicious pears didn’t fall off of a sleigh after all.
In Los Angeles, California, a building full of laborers–many foreign-born– work tirelessly to fill the shelves of American Apparel with their not-so-basic t-shirts and colorful sweaters, enough to fulfill the Christmas wishes of millions of American teens in various stages of blossoming hipster-dom. But, like so many companies, American Apparel has been stuck in the middle of our immigration crisis this year.
In September and October, 1,600 of the company’s workers were forced out of jobs, leaving their families divided by an immigration system that continues to plague mixed-status families across the United States. As a result, some of these families will not spend the holidays together and will be struggling just to put food on the table, much less buying presents for the tots.