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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...


Immigration
Apr 11, 2014 — Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss Kathleen Sebelius' resignation, Jeb Bush's immigration comments and the civil rights anniversary.
Mar 29, 2014 — Residents of a small town in southern Arizona say a local Border Patrol checkpoint is unnecessary and that agents have overstepped legal bounds. So now they conduct their own form of surveillance.
Mar 29, 2014 — Latino activists have changed their strategy, tired of waiting for Congress to pass immigration legislation. Instead of pursuing lawmakers, many are calling on the White House to act on its own.
Mar 19, 2014 — With deportations at a record high under the Obama administration, and with immigration reform stalled in Congress, Dreamer protest groups are trying to keep the issue alive with actions of their own.
Mar 17, 2014 — A year after the release of a Republican Party report on what went wrong in 2012, party leaders say they have better data collection and outreach. Immigration reform, however, remains a thorny issue.
 

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.

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 migrant farmworkers face in New York.  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

For North Country Bosnians, Immigration Debate Sparks Anger

The last few weeks, Hispanic groups have organized massive demonstrations in America's cities. They hope to block Republican-sponsored legislation aimed at slowing illegal immigration. Here in the North Country, the debate over immigration can seem distant or even irrelevant. Only about 4 percent of this region's population is foreign-born. That compares with more than 20 percent statewide in New York. But for a growing number of families from Bosnia, immigration laws play a central role in daily life. As Brian Mann reports, they share many of the hopes and the fears of immigrants from Mexico.  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...  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

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...  Go to full article
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...  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...  Go to full article

It's Not the Work, It's the Wages

Much of the growing public discourse on immigration policy assumes America needs foreign workers to do the grunt work. Commentator Paul Willcott disagrees.  Go to full article

On the Border with the Minutemen

Civilian border watchers first caused controversy in April observing the Arizona border. Last month The Minutemen Civil Defense Corp expanded their watch to include more of...  Go to full article

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