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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
Aug 12, 2014 — A critique of America's immigration policy is that people ordered to immigration court often don't show up. Steve Inskeep went to an immigration court in Los Angeles to see if that narrative is true.
Aug 11, 2014 — The Obama administration is considering executive action on immigration, and it could come within weeks.
Aug 8, 2014 — Jose Gomez is the Archbishop of Los Angeles — he was born in Mexico, and became an American citizen a few years ago. Steve Inskeep talks to Gomez about his views on U.S. immigration policy.
Aug 8, 2014 — More than $400 million is being moved from other programs to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection from running out of money.
Aug 1, 2014 — The Department of Justice is speeding up court hearings for immigrant kids who have come to the U.S. in record numbers. Lawyers and immigration judges say the move undermines due process and will lead to further delays in already clogged courts. The ACLU earlier filed a suit over lack of representation.
 

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.

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
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

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

Border Patrol Downplays Minutemen

Civilian border watchers and their critics gathered on the Vermont border with Canada over the weekend. Between 6 and 10 volunteers for the Minuteman Project monitored the...  Go to full article

"Minutemen" to Patrol Canadian Border

Civilian border patrols have generated fierce debate in the Southwest. Now they're planning to come north. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps had a recruitment meeting in Long...  Go to full article
Sen. Schumer (L) and Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine, with a poster of the 1000 Islands Int'l Bridge in background.

Schumer Pushes Passport Alternatives

Senator Chuck Schumer met with North Country leaders yesterday in Watertown. The New York Democrat discussed the impact of proposed requirements for crossing the border with...  Go to full article

Northway Checkpoint Draws More Criticism

Two Republican congressmen from northern New York say the U.S. Border Patrol isn't moving quickly enough to correct "flaws" at an immigration checkpoint on I-87. Four people...  Go to full article

Pressure Mounts Over I-87 Immigration Checkpoint

The U.S. Border Patrol faces growing pressure over a controversial immigration checkpoint on I-87. Four people were killed in a crash at the site earlier this month. More...  Go to full article

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