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Portrait of a migrant dairy farmworker; Mexican man flees violence, poverty to work in Vermont

Posted on August 31, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



Editor’s note: This newspaper has done a number of stories about Vermont’s immigrant farmworkers. In this article, the Independent’sagriculture reporter puts a personal lens on this issue. What follows is one person’s story, as told to the Independent.

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Migrants play a big part in the dairy industry

Posted on August 31, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



VERMONT  — An estimated 1,200 Latino farmworkers labor on Vermont’s dairy farms, according to University of Vermont researcher Dan Baker. He said most are undocumented.

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Proposed law seeks path to legal status for farmworkers

Posted on June 29, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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VERMONT — A key to finally getting federal law changed so immigrants can more easily work on Vermont’s dairy farms is getting farmers and farm advocates here to reach out to their counterparts in Republican-leaning states. That is the analysis of people familiar with the legislative process in Washington, D.C.

They were commenting on the future of the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017, bill S.1034 in the U.S. Senate and bill H.R.2690 in the U.S. House.

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Migrant workers share their stories at Middlebury forum

Posted on May 4, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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MIDDLEBURY — Area residents this past Sunday got a rare glimpse into the lives of two Addison County migrant farm workers who shared their thoughts and experiences as part of a community forum at the Congregational Church of Middlebury.

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One World Library to feature two migrant farmworker outreach programs

Posted on May 4, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



BRISTOL — As we are reminded by recent events, Vermont’s economy depends on the support of migratory agricultural workers. On Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m., Julia Doucet and Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland will present “Supporting Vermont’s Migrant Farmworkers: Huertas Project and El Viaje Mas Caro”a presentationabouttwo programs designed to address the unique needs of this population. The event is hosted by the One World Library Project and will take place at the Lawrence Memorial Library at 40 North Street in Bristol.

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Labor tops dairy concerns: Local farmers tell Rep. Welch their frustrations with federal policy

Posted on April 17, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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MIDDLEBURY — Congressman Peter Welch arrived in Middlebury last Thursday ready to hear county dairy farmers’ ideas for improving the next farm bill — in particular ways to fix the current farm bill’s underperforming program to help the dairy farmers survive plunging milk prices.

But the price of milk and the Margin Protection Program’s failure to help Vermont’s dairies wasn’t at the top of anyone’s talking points.

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Feds could ICE-out dairy economy: Deporting workers would 'devastate' farms

Posted on March 23, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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ADDISON COUNTY — Vermont dairy farmers and farmworkers are in an increased state of alert as federal immigration authorities begin enforcing President Trump’s immigration policies. What the White House described as taking “the shackles off” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (known as ICE) and other agencies has resulted in shifts in policy that more aggressively target deportation of foreign workers — including farmworkers who have overstated their visas.

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Gov. Phil Scott vows to protect foreign farm workers

Posted on January 30, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree



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VERGENNES — U.S. immigration policy took the spotlight unexpectedly during a meeting of farmers last Thursday when Gov. Phil Scott made it clear that he would do whatever he could to protect Mexican farm laborers who may be under threat from President Trump.

Scott started his comments at the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition annual meeting at the American Legion hall in Vergennes by addressing the executive orders issued earlier in the week in Washington.

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Diplomats aid Mexican dairy farm workers

Posted on December 30, 2016 |
By Gaen Murphree



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MIDDLEBURY — Freddie and Gladis, Mexican citizens, have worked on Vermont dairy farms since 2010. Last month the couple brought their two-month-old daughter, Charlene, from Stowe, where they live, to Middlebury for the annual visit by officials from the Mexican Consulate of Boston.

They came to get a Mexican birth certificate for the pink-swathed baby, a new service offered by the Mexican diplomats.

The wish for birth certificates was part of a dominant theme at this year’s annual visit from the Mexican Consulate — uncertainty.

full story

Arrests of dairy workers raise questions on enforcement

Posted on October 13, 2016 |
By Gaen Murphree



Farm worker jailed by ICE Alcudia_6947.jpg

ADDISON COUNTY — Recent arrests of dairy farmworkers by federal authorities has led to accusations that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is targeting migrant laborers who are leaders in the farmworker movement for detention. ICE maintains that it is simply carrying out federal law.

Addison County farmworker Miguel Alcudia, 23, remains in ICE custody in the Strafford County House of Corrections in Dover, N.H., and is awaiting a bail hearing, following his Sept. 22 arrest in Vergennes.

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