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News stories tagged with "latinofarm"

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

Ag committee votes down farm labor bill

The Senate Agriculture committee voted down a highly polarizing farm labor bill Tuesday. Six of nine senators voted against the legislation, including committee chairman and former dairy farmer Darrel Aubertine. Farmworker advocates accused Aubertine of "perverting" the legislative process. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

"Return To Sender"?Julia Alvarez portrays illegal dairy farmworkers in young adult terms

Mexican and central American immigrants--most in this country illegally--have become a fixture on hundreds of dairy farms in northern New York and Vermont. In fact, they've become crucial to many farms' survival. Meanwhile, the farmers themselves, and their families, are in involved in a degree of illegality they're not used to. It's this underground world meeting sanguine farm life that's the backdrop for the latest novel by Julia Alvarez. It's a book for teen readers called Return To Sender. Alvarez is one of America's most famous Latina authors. She wrote How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. Alvarez was born in the Dominican Republic, but she's lived the majority of her life in Vermont. She's taught at Middlebury College since the 1980s. She told David Sommerstein when she first moved to Vermont, there were very few latino faces.  Go to full article
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand "evolves" for bigger stage

Coming off a whirlwind tour of New York State, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is scrambling to get settled in to her new job. Her spokeswoman, Rachel Mceneny, says a transition that usually takes three months is happening on the fly. Senator Gillibrand made sure to sit down with Hispanic lawmakers in New York City over the weekend. They were outraged by her conservative stances on immigration when she was Congresswoman. Gillibrand has already done an about-face on some of those issues. Immigrant groups are cautiously optimistic. Conservatives in her old district are taking a wait-and-see attitude. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Childstock farms relies on immigrant labor, and the H2A program, to harvest its greens.
Childstock farms relies on immigrant labor, and the H2A program, to harvest its greens.

Mexican farmworkers on the right side of the law

With the presidential race and the financial crisis, the issue of immigration has faded from the headlines. But the problem hasn't gone away. Farmers rely on foreign laborers to harvest their crops and milk their cows. Millions work on farms illegally. We've reported extensively on Mexicans and Central Americans working on North Country dairy farms without legal papers. Today we look at a federal program that allows farmers to hire foreign labor legally. Orchards in the Champlain Valley have hired foreign pickers for years. But dairy farms aren't eligible, at least, not yet. So in the North Country, just one crop farm uses the program. David Sommerstein reports from Childstock Farms in Franklin County.  Go to full article

ESL classes in demand in North Country

Literacy of Northern New York is seeking volunteers to teach English as a second language classes. The not-for-profit is trying to keep up with a growing number of military and academic spouses and farmworkers who want to learn English in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. Deborah Tate runs the organization's ESL program. She told David Sommerstein the students come from all over the world.

You can volunteer to be a tutor by calling 782-4270 in Jefferson and Lewis counties, and 265-0194 in St. Lawrence county.  Go to full article

License plan dead, but immigrants keep driving

Political pressure and a public backlash forced Governor Spitzer to scrap his plan to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. But that doesn't mean, of course, that hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the state have stopped driving. Few illegal immigrants working on farms in the North Country drive because of the strong presence of the border patrol. But a couple hours south, in the Finger Lakes region, driving without a license is daily life for many Latino farmworkers. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

State to count Hispanic farmworkers

The state agriculture department is trying to figure out how many Hispanic immigrants work on New York farms. The agency wants to persuade the federal government to act on immigration issues. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Feds detain 5 from Hopkinton farm

The U.S. Border Patrol detained five illegal immigrants earlier this month in St. Lawrence County. Border patrol agents, state police, and local police officers chased the workers through the woods, aided by a helicopter's searchlight. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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