In a Safe Place
Another labor rights episode. This time it's illegal immigrants. Mexicans are in Boston and they're so afraid that a mother lets her young son die alone rather than go with him to the hospital and risk being swept up. We hear Spenser say that when he was in high school he had a friend who lived right around the corner. What?? Spenser grew up in the west, from my memories of the novels. Didn't he only come to Boston after he served in the Korean war?
Anyway, there's a war going on between the US citizens who desperately want jobs and the Mexicans who are trying to survive. Spenser gets into the middle of it. Susan goes to work for an immigrant help organization and tells a caller that in Massachusetts employers are not allowed to ask if someone is a citizen. She then is corrected and is told that this is true unless required by federal law, but she is still giving questionable advice. First, the employer CAN ask if the interviewee can legally work in Massachusetts, which is what the calling illegal immigrant was worried about. And second, as soon as a job offer is tendered, then all the federal paperwork starts up so the job hunter will need to then turn over all their paperwork before they can start the job.
We get a glimpse of Jimmy Smits here - he plays a Mexican. In reality Jimmy Smits is half Puerto Rican.
There's an interesting scene where Spenser gets thoroughly beaten up in order to defend the Mexican workers.
There's also a quite heavy use of makeup in this episode!
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