Local Migrant Farm Workers Struggle To Stay Safe During Pandemic

Thelma Gomez, a member of the Vermont migrant community and an  organizer with Migrant Justice states that grueling work schedules, limited access to medical care, language barriers, and cramped housing all contribute to farmworkers’ vulnerability to Covid19.  “Multiple workers share the same room and if one gets sick there’s no way for them to self-isolate or to keep others from getting sick,” she says.

In addition, undocumented workers don’t receive stimulus checks from the Federal government nor do they qualify for unemployment.  If a dairy farm closes or downsizes – and many farms have been struggling during the pandemic – these workers may find themselves homeless.  Yet they are essential to the production of milk on dairy farms throughout the state.

Migrant Justice continues to represent the rights of farmworkers and to fight for their dignity, and many other organizations throughout Vermont are also involved, contributing transportation, food and clothing, and language support.   The struggle continues.

As Many as 1,111 Vermont Employees of the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services Face Furloughs

A 50% drop in revenues from applications for immigration services such as visas, asylum, and citizenship may mean that nearly two-thirds of the USCIC’s workers in the state will be furloughed on August 3.  The federal agency furloughs would be avoided only if Congress provides emergency funding by that date.  USCIS workers are split between facilities in St. Albans City and Essex.  “The notice to these employees went out this week, leaving these dedicated employees and their families in limbo wondering if they will have a job in August and wondering why Congress will not act to prevent it,” said Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor.