Seasons Greetings

Flash News: Afghans who risked lives to help American troops set to arrive in US      - | -     Are Covid boosters needed? Some nursing home residents to have immunity checked      - | -     How Biden’s sherpa, Steve Ricchetti, scored the big deal      - | -     'Frightening' Covid surge widens Japan's emergency      - | -     The US see rise in Covid cases; Delta variant feared as most contagious and dangerous strain      - | -     A man was charged with hate crimes for attacks on Muslims in New York City      - | -     Outrage grows after Deputies beat native American man, kill his dog      - | -     Beijing reports first Covid case in 179 days as alarm grows over Nanjing Delta cluster      - | -     Is Houston seeing a mirror image of last year's COVID summer surge?      - | -     Apple says chip shortage reaches iPhone, growth forecast slows      - | -     Two dead after leak at Texas chemical plant      - | -     Can Biden's plans manufacture more US factory jobs?      - | -     House begins Capitol attack inquiry as Republicans set to boycott proceedings      - | -     Barbara Boxer: Former California senator is a victim of assault and theft      - | -     The US could see 200,000 Covid-19 cases a day within the next six weeks: Former CDC director      - | -     Five die as Indian policemen fire at each other      - | -     Officials warn of ‘race’ against Delta variant as US cases surge      - | -     Why experts recommend upgrading to N95 masks to help fight the delta variant      - | -     Utah I-15 crash: 7 people are dead and several more injured in multiple crashes      - | -     Landmark Vatican fraud trial of 10 including a cardinal set to start      - | -     Afghan interpreter for US Army was beheaded by Taliban after US withdrawal from Afghanistan      - | -     New York becomes sixth state in U.S. to ban child marriages      - | -     12-year-old Oklahoma boy found dead after participating in TikTok 'blackout challenge,' reports say      - | -     French citizen among six arrested over plan to kill Madagascar president -minister      - | -     Young people falling very sick with Covid-19 should be 'a gigantic wakeup call,' Alabama doctor says      - | -     Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he won't impose new mask mandate despite increasing COVID-19 cases      - | -     Gun that killed U.S. outlaw Billy the Kid to be sold      - | -     'Pingdemic' grips Britain as fears of food shortages grow      - | -     Capitol attack committee chair vows to investigate Trump      - | -     Biden's crisis presidency will only get harder as it passes the six-month mark      - | -     China's flood-hit Henan to get nearly $300 million in emergency aid, donations      - | -     Blue butterflies was the first to go extinct in the US because of humans      - | -     Kentucky Governor pushes for masks after fully-vaccinated lawmakers catch Covid amid Delta surge      - | -     New chief selected for Capitol Police after 1/6 insurrection      - | -     Canada extends ban on direct flights from India over fear of Covid-19 Delta variant      - | -     Hackers steal “a Terabyte of data” from oil giant Saudi Aramco      - | -     Now it's Jeff Bezos' turn to make history with flight into space      - | -     Man faces 1st sentencing for felony in riot at US Capitol      - | -     Trump says Americans are refusing to get vaccine because of Biden      - | -     US firms in Hong Kong face risks, says AmCham      - | -     Covid-19 pandemic 'is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,' CDC director says      - | -     Father and son police officers charged with joining Proud Boys at Capitol riot      - | -     What the Stars wore to the 2021 Cannes Film Festival      - | -     Olympics-First COVID case found at athletes' village, stoking fears ahead of Games      - | -     Los Angeles County to reinstate mask mandate amid rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations      - | -     Condo collapse: The search of the Surfside rubble won't stop until every person is found, official says      - | -     More than 200,000 acres burned in Oregon's massive Bootleg fire      - | -     Coronavirus delta variant: What you should know      - | -     Los Angeles beaches reopen almost three days after 17 million gallons of sewage spill into Santa Monica Bay      - | -     Florida Democrats ask for 'Clarity' on 'Anti-Riot' Law after Cuba Protesters not arrested      - | -     Biden pitches huge budget, says Dems will 'get a lot done'      - | -     U.S. Senate passes bill to ban all products from China's Xinjiang      - | -     Cuba, Haiti stir fresh political pressures for US president      - | -     Lin Wood may face punishment after sharing clip of Michigan election sanctions hearing      - | -     Billions and counting: Biggest fines slapped against Google in recent years      - | -     Japan warns of Taiwan crisis, growing risks from US-China rivalry      - | -     Death toll in Surfside, Florida, reaches 94      - | -     After Condo collapse, hotel falls in China's Jiangsu province kills eight      - | -     A 'moral' fight: Biden to urge Americans to challenge efforts to restrict voting rights      - | -     65 people dead by lightning strikes and thunderstorms in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh      - | -     India celebrates woman who flew on Virgin Galactic      - | -     Infections rise in 42 states; Fauci says it's 'horrifying' to see people cheer lack of vaccinations: COVID-19 updates      - | -     Listen up: Biden speaks volumes in a whisper to make a point      - | -     Haitian doctor with Florida connections arrested in Jovenel Moïse assassination plot      - | -     “Do I trust the Taliban? No," Biden “But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, Biden sets Aug. 31 for US exit from Afghanistan      - | -     Michigan attorney general to investigate 2020 election fraud profiteers      - | -     New review of potential SARS-CoV-2 origins. Here's what experts think      - | -     Rani 'World's smallest cow' could be a huge public health risk      - | -     Delta variant is 'Covid-19 on steroids,' expert says, with cases increasing in nearly half of US states      - | -     Arizona's top elections official probe on Trump over 'intense efforts to interfere' with ballot counting      - | -     Google hit with Antitrust Lawsuit brought by 36 States and Washington, D.C.      - | -     Social Media major Twitter appoints India compliance executive to comply new IT laws      - | -     Here goes Trump again! tells chief of staff “Hitler did a lot of good things”     - | -     LAPD employee who shared a George Floyd Valentine's Day-themed image is cleared of wrongdoing     - | -     Legendary actor Dilip Kumar dies at 98, leaves a void in Indian cinema     - | -     Biden administration to host Modi, other Quad leaders this year     - | -     Miami-Dade mayor becomes face of response to condo collapse      - | -     Up to 1,500 firms affected in major ransomware attack, Kaseya says      - | -     Where did watermelons come from?      - | -     India’s billionaires Ambani, Adani gets richer while coronavirus pushes millions into abject poverty      - | -     Dr. Fauci cautions on Covid-19 'spikes,' pleads with anti-vaxxers as Biden misses 70% vaccination Goal      - | -     Explosives set off to bring down rest of collapsed condo      - | -     Is iOS 14.6 draining people's iPhone batteries? Here's an easy fix      - | -     Pakistan blames India of June bomb blast in Lahore      - | -     July 4th weekend, Hurricane Elsa, Trump's Florida rally      - | -     Google to introduce HTTPS-only mode to Chrome      - | -     Afghan pullout has US spies reorienting in terrorism fight      - | -     Boozy beasts: Visiting Comet 46P/Wirtanen Is 'Abnormally High' in Alcohol      - | -     UAE bans citizens from travelling to india, pakistan and other countries      - | -     Johnson & Johnson says its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine offers durable protection against Delta, other variants      - | -     US expresses concern over China's nuclear arms buildup      - | -     Reported bomb threat at Luke Air Force Base as Arizona police investigate      - | -     At Least 63 People Died During Record Temperatures in Oregon Heat Wave      - | -     Houston Shooting Sees One Child and Two Adults Killed, Suspect at Large      - | -     Cuomo Reaps $1 Million at NYC Fundraiser Under Scandal’s Cloud      - | -     SpaceX launches 88 spacecraft into orbit — including two of Spaceflight’s orbital tugs      - | -     Trump in financial and political danger as company faces possible criminal charges      - | -     Surfside Condo Collapse: What We Know      - | -     WHO recommends wearing masks even for fully vaccinated?      - | -     3,000-year-old skeleton missing a hand and a leg is world's oldest shark attack victim      - | -     Miami-Dade building collapse leaves 9 dead and more than 100 missing      - | -     China's aggressive behavior on the global stage is an 'immense danger,' says analyst      - | -     One of his former executives says Trump 'deserves to go to jail' ahead of New York prosecutors potentially filing criminal charges      - | -     Wikipedia is at war over the coronavirus lab leak theory      - | -     Fit both Homo sapiens, Neanderthal yet neither - A previously unknown type of ancient human has been discovered in the Levant     - | -     Rep. Bob Good apparently called ‘racist’ as he questioned Biden official on critical race theory     - | -     'Brutal' third wave hits Africa as vaccination slows     - | -     Almost all COVID 19 deaths in US now among unvaccinated as per government data     - | -     Trump and the Republicans deserve credit for the coronavirus vaccine      - | -     Biden removes FHFA director after Supreme Court ruling      - | -     Western drought brings another woe: voracious grasshoppers      - | -     Merkel: Europe 'on thin ice' amid delta virus variant rise      - | -     Tulsa, Oklahoma, cyberattack: Officials warn personal information may have been leaked to the dark web      - | -     Delta variant: What it could mean for Covid-19 in the US      - | -     Tentacles of Manhattan DA's Trump probe reach former bodyguard Calamari      - | -     Is India's Delta Plus a worrying Covid-19 variant?      - | -     'Harder than Everest': record-breaking female climber stranded in Nepal amid COVID crisis      - | -     Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ethereum are crashing, What’s the reason? China again?      - | -     Trump firm sues New York to regain control of Bronx golf course      - | -     Two employees dead as virus sweeps Manatee County government building in Florida      - | -     Alabama highway crash – a national tragedy, young victims were traveling home from beach trip when heartbreak incident take place      - | -     White House says comments by N.Korea's Kim are 'interesting signal'      - | -     Why India's outbreak is a threat to the world     - | -     Suspected smuggling boat tragedy in San Diego adds to Biden's migrant crisis woes     - | -     Maryland votes to nix state song, a Confederate call to arms     - | -     Kim Janey rewrites history, Boston's first Black and female mayor     - | -     Gunman kills 10 at Colorado supermarket in second US mass shooting in a week     - | -     Kamala Harris laughs when asked if she will visit the border raises sharp criticism online     - | -     Roger Stone under fresh scrutiny as Capitol attack investigation intensifies     - | -     Vaccines will likely not be mandatory for teachers: Biden’s Education Secretary     - | -     Fauci warns about potential for an oncoming resurgence of virus if restrictions eased     - | -     Biden plug relief to Americans, celebrates 'transformational' victory on COVID-19 relief     - | -     LA Schools to Reopen in mid-April & NY City will open high schools next week     - | -     Women are tired of explaining to men like Andrew Cuomo why sexual harassment is wrong     - | -     Biden signs orders on gender equity, nominates two women to be four-star commanders     - | -     Nation takes baby steps to normality after year in lockdown; "The virus isn't going to go away," says Harvard epidemiologist     - | -     Rumours of vaccine site giving jabs to anyone because of low demand. Hundreds lined up     - | -     Vaccine supply will "dramatically" increase in weeks ahead: Fauci     - | -     Biden calls it "Neanderthal thinking" slams Texas and Mississippi's decisions to lift COVID-19 mask mandates     - | -     This Is What GOP Feared. Now that Trump Has Governed with Executive Orders, Dems Plan to Do Same      - | -     Man Throwing 'Incendiary Devices' at ICE Detention Center Is Killed in Attack      - | -     Mueller Hearing Pushed Back a Week to Allow More Time for Him to Answer Questions      - | -     Trump Tells 4 Congresswomen of Color to 'Go Back' to 'Crime-Infested' Countries They Came From      - | -     GOP Congressman Invokes 'The Deep State'

Features & Columns

You probably need to thank a migrant worker for your daily milk

viewsViews 493

You probably need to thank a migrant worker for your daily milk

2021-06-18 05:49:24

By K. Shalini

The seemingly backward relationship between Adulio and Mac illustrates just how essential undocumented immigrants have become to the dairy industry in the United States. Three recent books—Milking in the Shadows by Keller, The Deportation Machine by Adam Goodman, and Life on the Other Border by Teresa M. Mares—reveal how undocumented dairy farm workers came to be a crucial component of the industry and face even more dire threats than undocumented workers elsewhere, but have nevertheless been organizing to defend themselves.

Undocumented immigrants make up a significant portion of the dairy industry's workforce. Wisconsin, where Keller conducted her research, is second only to California in terms of dairy production, with more than 9,000 farms —40 percent of whose workers are thought to be immigrants, of which more than half are thought to be undocumented. Vermont, where Mares, an anthropologist, focuses her book, dedicates approximately 80 percent of its farmland to supporting dairy production, which accounts for 70 percent of the state’s agricultural sales. The industry provides up to 7,000 jobs, which include at least 1,000 Latino migrants—90 percent of whom are thought to be undocumented.

Dairy farms from Vermont to California rely on undocumented workers to fill local labor shortages, and undocumented workers are attracted to dairy farms due to the stability of the year-round work, as compared to other seasonal farmwork, and the relatively low cost of living, with farm owners often providing housing.

The push and pull that brought, and continues to bring, undocumented workers to dairy farms has both historical and contemporary origins. Mexicans and Mexican Americans have, of course, had an extensive presence in what is today the Southwestern United States but was, prior to the Mexican-American War, part of Mexico. With the end of the war in 1848, the nationality of the land and people changed, as did the migratory patterns of workers. Goodman, a historian, traces how active recruitment by U.S. companies, economic disparities between the United States and Mexico, and the two country’s geographic proximity fueled the migration of Mexican workers to the United States from the turn of the 20th century on.

To control these workers, the United States ran the Bracero Program from 1942 to 1964, authorizing nearly 5 million short-term work contracts for Mexicans, mostly in agriculture. When the program was discontinued, workers’ migratory patterns persisted, albeit through unauthorized channels. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson also signed the Hart-Cellar Act, instituting a quota on immigration from the Western Hemisphere into the United States for the first time in its history, further pushing workers into unauthorized immigration channels.

Recent events have brought even more undocumented workers into the U.S. dairy industry. In the ’90s, the North American Free Trade Agreement destabilized the agricultural sector in Mexico, pushing many workers north, to the United States. At the same time, a consolidation of dairy farms in the United States led to larger farms that operated for longer hours and therefore needed more, and more compliant, labor. According to Keller’s research, this supply and demand first connected in the late ‘90s, as dairy farmers began hiring undocumented workers and word spread among Mexican communities about jobs available in the rural Wisconsin, Vermont, and other dairy-producing states. As one worker from Veracruz told Keller about his trip to Wisconsin in the late ’90s: “What happened is that we have friends who told us, ‘Let’s go to a part of Wisconsin because there aren’t many Mexicans over there yet.’”

Along with unique opportunities, undocumented dairy farm workers face unique challenges. They are threatened by the same immigration enforcement as other undocumented immigrants, but the particularities of their industry make them even more vulnerable. Dairy workers, for example, are not eligible for guest worker visas, as other migrant workers in agriculture are, meaning there is no legal way for them to obtain this work (outside of the relative impossibility of becoming residents, of course). Despite making up a vital component of the workforce, undocumented dairy farm workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are also denied routine necessities like drivers’ licenses and legal protections related to their working conditions and housing—which, as previously mentioned, is often provided by farmers.

With up to 89 percent of immigrant dairy workers hailing from Mexico, they are also uniquely susceptible to racial profiling. Unlike undocumented immigrants in metropolitan areas, who may be able to blend into more diverse populations, undocumented migrant workers typically live and work in rural, ubiquitously white locales. Orleans, Vermont, and Crawford, Wisconsin, are home to a significant number of dairy farms and more than 95 percent of the residents of both counties are white, making undocumented immigrant dairy workers hypervisible and therefore vulnerable to racial profiling.

The rural countryside, lack of access to transportation, heightened visibility, and threat of immigration enforcement come together to turn the dairy farm into a kind of prison, where undocumented workers are trapped by fear. As one worker in Vermont told Mares about her experience on the farm: “I live in an apartment attached to the barn. I used to only leave the apartment to go to the milking parlor to help my husband sometimes. I never went outside. I didn’t see the sun.”

Despite the threats to their livelihoods, undocumented workers in the dairy industry have been organizing to defend themselves. Migrant Justice is a coalition of dairy farm workers in Vermont, which was formed following the grisly death of Jose Obeth Santiz Cruz, a young dairy farm worker who was strangled by machinery in 2009. Since then, Migrant Justice has organized dairy farm workers to lobby the industry for higher employment standards and, more recently, to defend their rights as immigrants. In 2017, the organization celebrated the launch of its “Milk with Dignity” program, through which businesses that rely on Vermont’s dairy industry, such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, adhere to a worker-authored code of conduct, agree to third-party monitoring, and pay a small premium on milk directly to workers.

On the political front, Migrant Justice has been involved in securing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in Vermont, passing the state’s bias-free policing policy barring state police from asking about immigration status, and providing “Know Your Rights” training for immigrants interacting with law enforcement. The organization has also been at the forefront of defending undocumented dairy farm workers detained by ICE.

While Migrant Justice’s efforts remain focused on Vermont, there is hope that the model of dairy farm workers organizing to defend themselves will take off in other dairy-producing states, like Wisconsin. After all, Migrant Justice was modeled on the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which organizes undocumented workers in Florida’s tomato industry, so similar efforts are multiplying as workers realize their shared predicament—as well as their power. As one undocumented dairy farm worker and member of Migrant Justice told Mares in Vermont:

I never imagined I would be an organizer, I came here to work with my family, that was my goal, to help my family in Mexico. The first time I went to an assembly with Migrant Justice, I really wanted to meet a group of workers, and I get there and I am hearing the same stories of my friends that are like mine, like they also can’t leave their homes, so that taught me a lot.

Post Your Comment

Most Recent News

Tokyo 2020: Olympic Games in Numbers Day 10

2 August, 2021

  Games in Numbers - Day 10  ...More

MLB: Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani, Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto Named Players of the Month

2 August, 2021

  -posted by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. (Image Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)  For......More

MLB: Cincinnati Jonathan Reds India, Detroit Tigers Eric Haase Named Rookies of the Month

2 August, 2021

  -posted by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Detroit Tigers rookie catcher Eric Haase. (Image Source: Raj Mehta / USA Today)  Infielder Jonathan India of the Cincinnati......More

Get Published

Want to publish your own articles?

Create an account, and submit your articles, photos and/or videos. They will be reviewed by our professional copy editors, and if it is approved, it will be published for all our readers to view.