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News stories tagged with "latino"

Mexican farmworker doc debuts in Burlington

Last December, Jose Obeth Santiz Cruz of Mexico was killed when his shirt got caught in a machine on a Vermont dairy farm. The incident renewed concerns over Hispanic farmworkers in the dairy industry who are in this country illegally. An estimated 1500 work on dairy farms in Vermont. Hundreds more work in northern New York. A farmworkers' rights group helped return Santiz Cruz' remains to his family in Chiapas, Mexico. The Vermont Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project made a documentary about their journey. It's called "Silenced Voices" and debuts tonight at 7 at the Black Box Theater in Burlington. Brendan O'Neill teaches English to Hispanic farmworkers in Vermont. He co-directed the documentary and spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article

Mexican farmworker fire investigation continues

An autopsy shows a Mexican farmworker on a St. Lawrence County dairy farm died of smoke inhalation. The man was found in the bedroom of a mobile home destroyed by fire. A frying pan left unattended on a stove sparked the blaze. According to the Watertown Daily Times, authorities still haven't identified the man or found his family in Mexico. Three other Mexican nationals escaped the fire. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

"Return To Sender"?Julia Alvarez portrays illegal dairy farmworkers in young adult terms

Mexican and central American immigrants--most in this country illegally--have become a fixture on hundreds of dairy farms in northern New York and Vermont. In fact, they've become crucial to many farms' survival. Meanwhile, the farmers themselves, and their families, are in involved in a degree of illegality they're not used to. It's this underground world meeting sanguine farm life that's the backdrop for the latest novel by Julia Alvarez. It's a book for teen readers called Return To Sender. Alvarez is one of America's most famous Latina authors. She wrote How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. Alvarez was born in the Dominican Republic, but she's lived the majority of her life in Vermont. She's taught at Middlebury College since the 1980s. She told David Sommerstein when she first moved to Vermont, there were very few latino faces.  Go to full article
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand "evolves" for bigger stage

Coming off a whirlwind tour of New York State, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is scrambling to get settled in to her new job. Her spokeswoman, Rachel Mceneny, says a transition that usually takes three months is happening on the fly. Senator Gillibrand made sure to sit down with Hispanic lawmakers in New York City over the weekend. They were outraged by her conservative stances on immigration when she was Congresswoman. Gillibrand has already done an about-face on some of those issues. Immigrant groups are cautiously optimistic. Conservatives in her old district are taking a wait-and-see attitude. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Judge halts immigrant worker crackdown

A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the Bush Administration to delay indefinitely a crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Dairy farmers in the North Country feared new rules on verifying social security numbers would wreak havoc with their workers. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mexican corridos: the people's autobiography in song

A St. Lawrence University professor specializes in a genre of Mexican music that tells the stories of how migrant workers get to the United States. Martha Chew-Sanchez is the author of a book called Corridos in Migrant Memory. She's invited a Mexican band, Los Inalcanzables to perform "corridos" tonight at 7 at SLU's Student Center. "Corridos" are epic songs that were first sung when the Spanish arrived in the New World. They're like the collective autobiography of Mexico, telling stories about everything from farming and famous heroes to drug smuggling and crossing the border. New ones are always written to reflect contemporary lives. Chew-Sanchez told David Sommerstein she grew up in the border region of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, where "corridos" told the stories of the day...  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 on reliable, plentiful Hispanic labor to survive. If national estimates are right, about three-quarters of these workers entered the United States illegally. Farmers are not required to prove their workers are legal. In fact, they can be sued for discrimination if they challenge them. Still, dairy farmers find themselves on the wrong side of immigration law as it now stands. David Sommerstein has part two of our series, Latinos on the Farm.  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 exactly how many Hispanics work on dairy farms in northern New York. One estimate says 300 work in Jefferson County alone. Based on national estimates, three-quarters of them entered the United States illegally. In the first of a two part series, David Sommerstein reports on the farmhands themselves. They live largely invisible lives, inextricably linked to the farmer who hired them.  Go to full article

Immigration Boycott Shuts Down State Assembly

The New York State Assembly had to close down for the day, after a number of Assemblymembers joined a boycott led by Hispanic legislators, in solidarity with the day of protest going on over new immigration policies before Congress. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

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