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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.
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms.
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms.

Owens seeks dairy guest worker program

Yesterday, President Obama took his pitch to overall the nation's immigration laws to the Mexican border. In El Paso, Obama said he's exceeded Republican demands for improved border security. He said now it's time for them to work on immigration reform.

Today, there are at least hundreds of Mexican and Central American men and women working illegally on North Country dairy farms. Last month, a Jefferson County farmer was arrested by federal agents for employing undocumented workers.

For the dairy industry, the biggest problem with current immigration laws is one called H2A. It's a guest worker program, but dairy farmers are not eligible to use it. A bill introduced by Congressman Bill Owens would change that. He spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article
The complaint reflects, at least in a reading of it, that the defendant was aware that they were illegal aliens working on the farm.

Farmer arrested for employing illegal immigrants

Federal agents raided a Jefferson County dairy farm yesterday and arrested the farmer, a week after one of his Hispanic employees died in an apparent accident. 47 year-old John Barney of Adams is charged with harboring illegal immigrants. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article
Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas

Life on the U.S.-Mexico border

Ruben Garcia is a human rights advocate who lives on the U.S.-Mexico border. For more than 30 years, he has run Annunciation House, an emergency shelter for migrants and the homeless in El Paso, Texas. Garcia will speak to students and the public at St. Lawrence University in Canton today. The issue of border security, illegal drugs and immigration is complex along the southern border. He'll give a presentation, titled "The Border as a Prophet: Voices Calling us to Justice", in St. Lawrence's Carnegie 10 at 7 pm. Garcia joined Todd Moe in the studio this morning for a first person account on the effects of beefed-up military patrols, the drugs wars, human rights and life along the southern border.  Go to full article
Border Patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.

Citizenship questions far from the border

Across the North Country, border patrol road checkpoints where agents stop cars and ask passengers their citizenship have become a part of daily life. Today we have a story...  Go to full article
Immigration lawyer Hilary Fraser

Immigration bureaucracy lands legal residents in detention

One wrinkle in the immigration picture has been particularly difficult for foreign students and professionals working in the U.S.

There are two agencies within...  Go to full article

A good apple crop, but pickers delayed by U.S. Immigration officials

North Country apple growers say it's been a good season, but they had to fight U.S. Immigration officials to harvest their crop. For decades, orchards in northern New York...  Go to full article
Rep. Bill Owens

Owens pushes guest worker program

Congressman Bill Owens says he supports a guest worker program for farms. And he thinks it should be separated from the broader debate over immigration. The Democrat from...  Go to full article

State Senate axes farm labor bill

The New York Farm Bureau says its members are relieved at a last minute state Senate "no" vote on a bill that would have granted certain labor rights to farm workers....  Go to full article
Eda Van der Linden and Diane Wade  co-authored "They Ventured Forth." (photo: Lucy Martin)

Celebrating Dutch-Canadian heritage

Canada and the Netherlands forged deep ties over the past century. Members of the Dutch Royal Family took refuge in Ottawa during the Second World War, and it was largely...  Go to full article

Mexican farmworker doc debuts in Burlington

Last December, Jose Obeth Santiz Cruz of Mexico was killed when his shirt got caught in a machine on a Vermont dairy farm. The incident renewed concerns over Hispanic...  Go to full article

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