Week 1 – What’s the Conflict?

What’s the conflict that surrounds migrant workers?

  • migrant workers are treated unfairly (lower than minimum wages, longer hours, tiny and unsanitary quarters) because they aren’t legal
  • they depend on their jobs to sustain themselves and their families
  • dependency can be used as leverage with farmers
    • workers come to farmer with complaint, farmer can threaten to fire them or turn them in to the law
  • Vermont economy depends on farms therefore migrant workers so we can’t deport them
  • Why don’t dairy based companies give section of profit to migrant workers? Is is because they don’t know about them or they don’t want to help them because of misconceptions or law?
  • police understand the state’s dependency but still has to do their job
    • job = deporting any illegal aliens
    • try to divert their attention from farms whenever possible
      • some cases aren’t possible
        • accidents or 911 calls
  • migrant workers can’t get healthy food because of cost and the threat of being exposed
  • migrant workers can’t get an education because they’re illegal
  • Do family members of farmers understand the migrant worker issue or are they just as oblivious as the rest of society?
  • How much of the government knows about this issue? If someone does, do they turn a blind eye like police forces do?
  • some people think migrant workers take their jobs and could be terrorist/rapists
  • others want to help but don’t always know how
  • majority doesn’t understand or know about this issue




Photo taken by Bob Nichols

Elsa Lindenmeyr

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