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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.
Sen. Andrew Lanza, a sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in the New York State Senate. Photo: <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/andrew-j-lanza">Sen. Lanza website</a><br />
Sen. Andrew Lanza, a sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in the New York State Senate. Photo: Sen. Lanza website

Fighting sex trafficking in New York state

Forcing young women and men into a life of prostitution is a very lucrative business.

It may sound like the stuff of Hollywood, but the sex trafficking trade is alive and well in Central New York, but a movement to end it in New York State is gathering momentum, with a bill in the legislature to protect those who are trafficked, and bring traffickers to justice.  Go to full article

VT Senate considers driver's licenses for migrant workers

A bill in the Vermont Senate would allow migrant farm workers access to driver's licenses.

Vermont is home to approximately 1500 migrant workers - many of whom don't have legal status. They live and work on dairy farms throughout the state.

And as a study commissioned by the legislature last year found out, it's hard for migrant workers to get to the doctor and the grocery store without a driver's license.  Go to full article
Aaron Calderon, Malik McKenzie, and Sabel Bong, of SUNY Canton, prepare to march down Main Street. Photo: David Sommerstein

How human trafficking happens all around us

According to a study by Hofstra University, more than 11,000 people in New York State have been victims of human trafficking since 2000. They may have been sex workers, or forcibly employed at restaurants or factories or on farms.

They're among the estimated 27 million people who are victims of human trafficking worldwide.

Several organizations this week are drawing attention to what's often called modern-day slavery. The state Department of Labor has announced a new partnership with businesses to expose illegal labor trafficking.

A handful of students from SUNY Canton held a march yesterday to raise awareness of the issue.  Go to full article
Tenzin Dorjee

Tibetan culture comes to Plattsburgh

Last spring downtown Plattsburgh got a new restaurant: a Himalayan restaurant. It's owned and operated by Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee, a Tibetan couple who moved to northern...  Go to full article

Vermont considers driver's licenses for migrant workers

The dairy industry in Northern New York and Vermont relies heavily on migrant labor. A lot of the farm workers are undocumented. That causes problems when the workers have to...  Go to full article
Articles written in 1928 about the incident at Massena.

Massena's history still tied to 1928 "blood libel" incident

A St. Lawrence County community is being reminded, again, of an 80 year-old rumor many people would rather forget.

A new novel re-imagines what happened when a...  Go to full article
Ibrahim Absiye, a refugee from Somalia, runs an immigrant service program in Toronto. Photos:  Brian Mann

Canada puts immigration at the center of its economic policy

Here in the North Country and across much of Upstate New York, population growth and economic development have been anemic for decades. But just north of the border, Canadian...  Go to full article

Jefferson County program aims to tackle unemployment and labor shortage in dairy industry

The problem of high labour turnover on dairy farms was highlighted in late March when John Barney of Smithville was arrested for hiring Latinos who came here without...  Go to full article
Photo by Angela Evancie

Bikes break down migrant worker barriers

It's practically a given that you need a car if you want to live in a rural place. Not all towns have grocery stores or pharmacies. Work can be miles away.

The...  Go to full article

Schumer wants efficient, safer border

Sen.Chuck Schumer says Homeland Security will begin tapping into Canadian military radar later this year to detect low-flying aircraft used to smuggle drugs from Canada into...  Go to full article

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