Migrant workers “like family”


Source: 13 WHAM News - Patrice Walsh
(05-16-06)

Most migrant workers will tell you it’s the best job they ever had–earning minimum wage trimming and packing cabbage.

Miguel Rodriguez has been working at similar jobs since he was 16, and though he says he is in America legally now, still, he is afraid everyday.

He said, “I was afraid of being sent back and of never being allowed to come back.”

Monday, 20 migrant workers were on the line trimming cabbage. Forty more were expected to show up, but didn’t show because they’re afraid of deportation.

Kristin Roberts-Ferris of Lynn-Nette Farms said they considered the migrant workers “Like family. Without them we wouldn’t have a family business.”

Roberts-Ferris said her family depends on the workers because they can’t find Americans who will do the jobs for minimum wage.

“They don’t show up and won’t do the work,” she said.

Rural Opportunities provides services for legal migrant workers. The agency supports some aspects of immigration reform.

Michael Kincaid of Rural Opportunities said, “The agency is hoping for positive immigration reform strengthening the borders.”

Miguel Rodriguez said immigration officers have targeted other migrant camps in the area and he worries some workers here could lose everything they came to America to find.



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