May 15, 2008 — Literacy of Northern New York is seeking volunteers to teach English as a second language classes. The not-for-profit is trying to keep up with a growing number of military and academic spouses and farmworkers who want to learn English in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. Deborah Tate runs the organization's ESL program. She told David Sommerstein the students come from all over the world.
You can volunteer to be a tutor by calling 782-4270 in Jefferson and Lewis counties, and 265-0194 in St. Lawrence county. Go to full article
May 17, 2006 — 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
Apr 03, 2006 — 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 Country. But Jamaican apple pickers already use a legal guest worker program in the Champlain Valley. Illegal immigrants are becoming more common on area construction sites. And the number of Hispanic workers on dairy farms is growing fast. John Lincoln is president of the New York Farm Bureau. He employs two Guatemalan workers on his dairy farm near Canandaigua. David Sommerstein asked Lincoln what he sees in the immigration rallies in California. Go to full article