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

Schumer says immigration bill will help NY dairy farms

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U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says a new bipartisan immigration deal will provide an economic boost to New York farms and the agriculture industry.

In a press release, Schumer says the bill will be especially helpful to dairy farms and fruit growers.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

The booming Greek yogurt industry has increased the demand for milk. Schumer says a shortage of workers has made it difficult for dairy farms to keep up.

One reason for that is the guest worker program for agriculture. It currently only applies to seasonal workers. But dairy farms need year-round help.

Schumer says the reforms provide a new immigration option to undocumented farm workers. The bill enables those workers to become what's called "registered provisional immigrants" and obtain a new "blue card." The card would let them to continue working legally in the United States.

New York is the fourth largest dairy producer in the country, and the second largest apple producer. Schumer says the newly introduced bill will help ensure there are enough, legal seasonal workers for the orchards.

Right now up to a quarter of fruit crops are left unharvested nationwide because there are not enough workers to pick the fruit.

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