The board that oversees
health care in Vermont is looking at health issues affecting the state’s undocumented
farm workers. The Legislature asked the
Green Mountain Care Board to estimate how much it would cost to include the
undocumented migrant workers in a universal coverage plan.
This week Vermont became the latest state to have the federal government implement the Secure Communities program, raising questions and concerns about how it would affect law enforcement and immigrants in the state.
Vermont’s dairy industry relies heavily on migrant
farmworkers, most of them from Mexico. Now, the state legislature is looking into whether
these workers should be allowed to obtain driver’s licenses, regardless of
their immigration status.
Peter Shumlin supports a Senate bill that would allow undocumented migrant
farm workers to get a Vermont driver’s license. The
governor says the workers are essential for the state’s dairy industry and that
they should be free to move around the community.