U.S. Labor Department has proposed new rules that would permit foreigners to
work in American agricultural industries. But
the proposal does not include dairy workers. And Senator Patrick Leahy says
that’s a major shortcoming because foreign labor is needed on dairy farms.
migrant farmworker who died in Vermont just before Christmas was laid to rest this week in
his hometown in Chiapas, Mexico. A
delegation of Vermonters helped bring the body home. The group hopes that the
tragic death will call attention to the plight of undocumented workers who live
a sometimes hidden existence on Vermont dairy farms.
Vermont dairy farmers are waiting to find out if they’ll face
fines or enforcement action after a federal immigration crackdown was launched
last month. Meanwhile,
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy wants to change federal labor rules to allow
farmers to employ migrant workers.
farmers and their immigrant workers are worried about a new federal enforcement
effort launched last week. The
government is investigating whether farmers have hired undocumented workers. Up
to two- thousand Mexicans work on Vermont dairy farms. And the crackdown could result in some
workers being deported.