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Series: Hispanic Farm Workers

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Carrie Baker's emotional encounter with the mother of Gabriel, her employee.
Carrie Baker's emotional encounter with the mother of Gabriel, her employee.

Farmers Seek Workers' Roots - in Mexico

Five years ago, just a handful of dairy farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Today, some 50 farms use or have expressed a desire to hire workers from Mexico or Guatemala. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. There are the obvious language barriers, but also issues with food and housing and cultural norms. Earlier this month, a small group of farmers tried to bridge that gap in a big way. They took a trip to Mexico, to the very village where their employees come from, and met their families. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Hispanic Dairy Workers in New York: The Bigger Picture

Agricultural labor specialist Tom Maloney of Cornell University completed a survey of Hispanic workers on New York dairy farms earlier this year. Many of these workers came into the United States illegally. The survey found crossing the border, language barriers, and lack of freedom are the biggest challenges they face in their work. Their employers also cite language and immigration issues as problems. Maloney told David Sommerstein dairy farmers are increasingly turning to Hispanic labor because they struggle to find employees at a price they can pay.  Go to full article

Mexican Farm Workers Arrested en Route to Lowville

State Police in Oneida County arrested 10 illegal Mexican immigrants yesterday. Troopers responded to a vehicle that had slid off of Route 12. David Sommerstein spoke with Sergeant Kevin Maxwell. He said police from Utica who spoke Spanish helped find out the nine men and one woman were on their way to a farm in the Lowville area. He didn't know which farm. None of the Mexicans had identification. Maxwell says they were packed into a pick-up truck.  Go to full article

Dairy Farmers Seek Guest Workers Program

Massive protests in California are providing a dramatic backdrop for the debate in Washington over America's immigration policy. The issue can seem distant in the North...  Go to full article

Latinos on the Farm, in the Shadows

In the North Country, two groups are watching the immigration debate closely: dairy farmers and the Mexicans and Central Americans who work for them. There are no numbers on...  Go to full article

Farmers on the Wrong Side of the Law

Over the last five years, the number of Mexican and Central Americans working on the North Country's dairy farms has risen dramatically. Industry leaders agree farms depend...  Go to full article

Web Only: Farmworker Legal Services of NY

Listen to David Sommerstein's interview with Jim Schmidt, co-director of Farmworker Legal Services of New York, based in Rochester. He talks about the common abuses Hispanic...  Go to full article

Farm Bureau Warns of Immigration Raids

The New York Farm Bureau is cautioning farmers to watch out for immigration officials. An e-mail alert reports of roadblocks and farm raids as federal agents step up their...  Go to full article

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