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NPR has a terrific series going on to start 2014 looking at the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement 20 years after it took effect. How the free trade pact affected labor, immigration, wages, the environment, and much more. All the...
Want to watch celebrities milk a cow? Sample the excitement as media personalities concoct the tastiest milkshake? You can witness a calve being born, see the butter sculpture contest, watch the dairy day parade, and then wash it all down with a 25...
Need work? Got skills? Willing to try life in Canada? Well, Canada’s federal government has opened a skilled labor program for  “…to 24 eligible occupations, in addition to applicants with a qualifying job offer or those...
The dairy lobby is flexing its legislative muscles this week with some progress on a couple fronts. Today, Governor Cuomo came through on a promise he made at the Yogurt Summit last summer to raise the threshold when strict environmental rules...
Plenty of White House budget analysis in the news today. On the agriculture side of things, President Obama wants to make deep cuts to the direct payment to farmers program, which has been widely criticized as misguided government spending. Farmers...

Jul 11, 2014 — Mara Liasson, Carrie Kahn and John Burnett discuss the big picture of the current immigration debate, and update us on the latest developments.
Jul 10, 2014 — The handling of unaccompanied minors crossing the border is governed by a law that was passed in 2008. For more, Robert Siegel speaks with David Abramowitz, who helped work on the law when it passed.
Jul 9, 2014 — His remarks in Dallas followed a meeting with faith leaders and local officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to discuss the large number of unaccompanied minors at the border.
Jul 9, 2014 — Advocacy groups have sued the federal government for not providing lawyers to children in deportation proceedings. Unlike criminal courts, these courts don't provide representation for defendants.
Jul 9, 2014 — The number of Central American children seeking entry into the U.S. has grown dramatically. The U.N. calls it a refugee crisis, but the GOP blames administration policies for encouraging migrants.

Special Reports

Audio Series
Farm to Farm, Family to Family: David Sommerstein travels with NC dairy farmers to a Mexican village many of their migrant workers call home.
Audio Series
Hispanic Workers on North Country Farms
Five years ago, just a handful of farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Now many use workers from Latin America. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. David Sommerstein tells their stories in this ongoing series.
Martin Butts, left, goes over Ethiopian-born Fesseha Kahsay's business plan as part of the UP Start business incubator. Photo: Ryan Delaney, WRVO
Martin Butts, left, goes over Ethiopian-born Fesseha Kahsay's business plan as part of the UP Start business incubator. Photo: Ryan Delaney, WRVO

Unique challenges for refugees becoming entrepreneurs

The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how the thousands of refugees coming to upstate New York are weaving their way into the region's economy.

Jai Subedi holds court at his Asian grocery store on Syracuse's Northside. He's behind the counter ringing customers up and simultaneously fielding phone calls. All the while giving advice to other refugees about how to deal with various agencies. He opened the store earlier this year with the goal of making it more than just a market.  Go to full article
Abdullahi Majeni, Jeylani Semboga and Mganga Mbwera, help run a Somali-Bantu community group. Photo: Ryan Delaney<br />	<br />

Refugees pump life into post-industrial Utica

Utica has long seen itself as a city of immigrants. The arrival of Italians, Germans and Irish drove the city's population to peak at around 100,000. During the mid 1970's in the wake of major changes to the city's industrial base and dwindling employment opportunities, the population fell by nearly half.

"This city that we have now," said Joe Marino, a city councilor, "these new refugees really, really rebuilt the city."  Go to full article
Maja Ardal as Horsey June McCready  Photo: GCTC

Theatre Review: "You Fancy Yourself" at GCTC in Ottawa

When her family moves from Iceland to Edinburgh, young Elsa relies on her gigantic imagination to help her find friends. She soon realizes that imagination alone is not enough to conquer the scrappy politics of the social scene. You Fancy Yourself is running at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa through November 3.  Go to full article
Photo: David Sommerstein

Farmers ratchet up pressure for immigration reform

Prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are growing slim as Congress is running out of working days in 2013.

That's a huge concern for dairy farmers....  Go to full article
Migrant workers rally at the capitol in Montpelier this spring. Photo: Sarah Harris

Migrant worker and activist allowed to stay in U.S.

Danilo Lopez will be allowed to stay in the country, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says. Lopez, a Vermont migrant-worker-turned-activist from Mexico,...  Go to full article
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein

Dairy farmers and Hispanic workers in legal limbo

The U.S. Senate passed its version of immigration reform Thursday. But the bill's future in the House is highly uncertain. Many conservatives oppose citizenship for those who...  Go to full article
A Quebec "snowbird" in Pompano Beach, FL. Photo: <a href="">John Spade</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Schumer proposes retiree visa for Canadian "snowbirds"

Canadian retirees would be able to spend more time in the United States under a proposal from Sen. Charles Schumer.

Schumer wants to create a 'Canadian Retiree...  Go to full article
Juan Carlos (left) lives in a converted farm office in the barn of this dairy farm. He and Freddy want to be able to go home and come back to work on dairy farms here. Photo: David Sommerstein

What undocumented dairy workers think of immigration reform

Dairy farmers - and their workers - have a lot at stake in the immigration debate underway in Washington.

A survey by Cornell University found that 2,600...  Go to full article
People like Evaristo would become much more visible members of North Country communities if immigration reform passes. Photo: David Sommerstein.

How would legal immigration reshape the North Country?

Congress remains deeply divided over the shape of immigration reform. A split within the House GOP caucus endangers any kind of new legislation.

But let's imagine...  Go to full article
H2A workers on a North Country Farm. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will immigration reform ease NY's farm labor shortage?

As lawmakers in Washington debate the immigration reform bill released last month, farmers in New York State are hoping to find enough workers to fully staff their...  Go to full article

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