YCQM Oct. 13, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> Darren: GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON CHANNEL 3'S "YOU
CAN QUOTE ME," STILL IN THE
SHADOWS.
CHANNEL 3 NEWS GETS EXCLUSIVE
ACCESS TO A FARM AND ITS
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS HERE
ILLEGALLY.
A LOOK AT THAT HIDDEN
POPULATION, THREATENED WITH
DEPORTATION AND WHY FARMERS SAY
THEY DESPERATELY NEED THEM.
WE MAY BE FAR FROM THE MEXICAN
BORDER, BUT WE HAVE NOT ESCAPED
THE DIVISIVE DEBATE OVER
IMMIGRATION.
WE'VE BEEN REPORTING ON
ENFORCEMENT BY FEDERAL AGENTS IN
THE REGION AND ACTIVISTS
RALLYING AGAINST THE PRESIDENT'S
POLICIES.
OUR REGION IS HOME TO ABOUT A
THOUSAND MIGRANT FARM WORKERS,
MANY OF THEM HERE ILLEGALLY.
CHANNEL 3 NEWS FIRST INTRODUCED
YOU TO THIS HIDDEN POPULATION A
DECADE AGO AND WITH THE THREAT
OF DEPORTATION EVER PRESENT,
MANY OF THESE WORKERS ARE STILL
IN THE SHADOWS.
TEN YEARS AGO, WE MET TWO DAIRY
FARMERS WORKING AT A FARM IN
VERMONT TO HELP THOSE FAMILIES
BACK HOME IN MEXICO.
CHANNEL 3 REPORTER IKE BENDAVID,
PRODUCER DANIELA FIERRO, AND
SEVERAL OF OUR PHOTOGRAPHERS
TRAVELED TO ADDISON COUNTY TO
VISIT THE SAME FARM WHERE NOT
MUCH HAS CHANGED.
>> Ike: IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL
ON THIS ADDISON COUNTY DAIRY
FARM.
HOSE ANTONIO CHOHUO AND MANUEL
HERNANDEZ SPENDING THEIR DAY IN
THE BARN AND MILKING PARLOR.
JOSE HAS BEEN ON THE JOB FOR
FIVE YEARS.
>> WHEN I GOT HERE, I DIDN'T
KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE MACHINES
OR MILKING, BUT I LEARNED.
>> Ike: AND MANUEL FOR FIVE
MONTHS.
>> MILKING IS MY FAVORITE.
>> Ike: BOTH MEN LEFT MEXICO IN
HOPES OF PROVIDING A BETTER LIFE
FOR THEIR FAMILIES BACK HOME.
THEY TOOK DIFFERENT PATHS TO GET
TO THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.
JOSE HAS HIS BROTHER-IN-LAWS,
ALREADY IN THE STATE, HELPED HIM
GET A SIX-MONTH VISA, WHICH HE
HAS SINCE OVERSTAYED.
MANUEL SAYS HE PAID $10,000 TO
BE SMUGGLED INTO THE COUNTRY AND
BROUGHT TO VERMONT.
>> THE NECESSITIES ONE HAS, IT'S
DANGEROUS, BUT --
>> Ike: THE TWO UNDOCUMENTED
WORKERS SAY THEY CAME TO WORK
AND SEND MONEY BACK HOME.
>> AND THAT'S WHY I TIEDED TO
TAKE THAT RISK -- DECIDED TO
TAKE THAT RISK.
SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT IT A
LOT.
AND IT HURTS TO LEAVE THE
FAMILY.
>> Ike: DO YOU MISS HOME?
>> SI.
>> Ike: WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST?
>> THE FAMILY, IT'S WHAT I MISS
THE MOST.
AND THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE, YOU
SACRIFICE BEING WITH THEM TO BE
HERE.
>> Ike: LIKE FARM HANDS
EVERYWHERE, THEIR DAYS ARE LONG,
WORKING ODD HOURS.
BOTH JOSE AND MANUEL SAY THEY
ARE PAID AND TREATED WELL, BUT
THEY RARELY LEAVE THE FARM,
STAYING IN THE SHADOWS.
TO AVOID FEDERAL IMMIGRATION
AUTHORITIES.
>> YOU'VE GOT TO TAKE CARE OF
YOURSELF MORE THAN ANYTHING.
THAT YOU DON'T GET IN TROUBLE.
I ONLY COME HERE TO WORK.
>> I'M TOO SCARED TO LEAVE
BECAUSE I KNOW I'M NOT SAFE AND,
WELL, THAT'S MY LIFE.
>> THEY GOT TO HIDE BECAUSE IF
THEY GO TO THE DENTIST, THEY GO
TO THE GROCERY STORE, BORDER
PATROL OR ICE IS GOING TO PICK
THEM UP.
>> Ike: MANUEL AND JOSE WORK ON
A DAIRY FARM.
ROB HUNT GIVES THEM A PLACE TO
STAY, GETS THEM FOOD AND TAKES
THEM GROCERY SHOPPING.
>> I WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE
HAPPY.
HAPPY PEOPLE MAKE -- THEY'RE
MORE PRODUCTIVE.
>> Ike: AND WITH NO AMERICAN
WORKERS ANSWERING THE CALL FOR
HELP, THE FARM OWNER SAYS HIS
FARM WOULD FAIL IF HE DIDN'T
HAVE MIGRANTS HELPING MILK HIS
160 COWS.
>> WITHOUT THOSE GUYS, THERE'S
NO WAY I CAN DO IT.
>> Ike: AND HIS STANCE HASN'T
CHANGED.
I FIRST SPOKE WITH US TEN YEARS
AGO.
>> I FIRST DECIDED TO USE
MEXICAN LABOR BECAUSE IT WAS THE
ONLY OPTION I HAD.
>> Ike: BACK TODAY, THE SAME
ISSUES.
>> IN THE LAST TEN YEARS, WE
HAVE NOT HAD AN AMERICAN COME
AND ASK FOR A FULL-TIME JOB
HERE.
>> Ike: HUNT DOESN'T FEEL HE'S
TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT BY USING
MIGRANT LABOR.
HE SAYS IT'S HARDER BECAUSE
THERE ARE LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL
CHALLENGES HE FACES EVERY SINGLE
DAY.
>> THEY'RE NOT CHEAPER.
THEY'RE NOT AT ALL CHEAPER.
THEY'RE WILLING TO DO THE WORK.
>> Ike: AND THE STATE ISN'T
HIDING FROM THE FACT THAT THIS
IS HAPPENING.
>> IT CLEAR THAT THE MIGRANT
WORKFORCE PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE
IN AGRICULTURE IN THE STATE OF
VERMONT.
>> Ike: AGRICULTURE SECRETARY
ANSON TEBBETTS SAYS HE SEES
MIGRANT WORKERS WHEN HE VISITS
FARMS OF ALL SIZES.
HE SAYS THAT FARMERS TREAT THEIR
WORKERS FAIR AND PAY THEM A
RESPECTFUL WAGE BECAUSE --
>> WITHOUT THE HELP FROM MIGRANT
LABOR A, SOME OF THE CHORES
WOULD NOT GET DONE.
>> Ike: BACK IN ADDISON, JOSE
AND MANUEL ADMIT TO US THEY'RE
UNDOCUMENTED, BUT THE EMPLOYER
SAYS HE WAS GIVEN PAPERWORK.
>> MY GUYS, AS FAR AS I'M
CONCERNED, THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN
LEGAL.
YOU CAN'T ASK PEOPLE BASED ON
THEIR RACE WHETHER THEY'RE AN
ILLEGAL CITIZEN IF THEY'RE
PROVIDING YOU WITH THE REQUIRED
DOCUMENTS.
>> Ike: DOCUMENTED OR NOT, JOSE
AND MANUEL SAY THEY DON'T WANT
TO STAY IN THE UNITED STATES
FOREVER.
THEY WANT TO GO BACK HOME TO
LIVE A BETTER LIFE.
>> NO, NO.
>> NO.
I'D STAY HERE TO WORK, BUT NOT
TO STAY HERE TO LIVE FOREVER.
IN MY OPINION, NO.
>> IT'S DIFFICULT.
IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.
BUT NO, BECAUSE MY GOAL IS TO
RETURN TO MEXICO.
>> Darren: AND NEXT, OR BORDER
PATROL AGENTS SPECIFICALLY
TARGETING MIGRANT WORKERS LIVING
IN THE SHADOWS?
OUR SPECIAL REPORT CONTINUES
WITH REACTION FROM BORDER PATROL
AGENTS.
>> Darren: AMERICANS ARE DEEPLY
DIVIDED OVER THE ISSUE OF
IMMIGRATION AND WHETHER MORE
SHOULD BE DONE TO SECURE OUR
BORDERS AND WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN
TO MILLIONS OF IMMIGRANTS LIVING
HERE ILLEGALLY.
THAT INCLUDES HUNDREDS OF
MIGRANT FARM WORKERS IN OUR
REGION, HOPING TO AVOID ARREST
AND DEPORTATION.
IKE BENDAVID IS LEARNING MORE
ABOUT THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO
HAVE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS, BUT
ARE STILL IN THE SHADOWS.
>> Ike: ISMAEL MENDEZ-LOPEZ HAS
BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES
ILLEGALLY FOR TEN YEARS, WORKING
ON FARMS AND LIVING IN THE
SHADOWS, UNTIL EARLIER THIS YEAR
WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED.
>> THESE ARE IMMIGRATION PAPERS
THAT I WAS GIVEN WHEN WE WERE
FIRST DETAILED.
>> Ike: ISMAEL WAS AWAY FROM THE
FARM WHERE HE WORKED O A TRIP TO
TOWN TO SEND MONEY BACK TO HIS
FAMILY, WHEN HE WAS PULLED OVER
BY BORDER PATROL, QUESTIONED
ABOUT HIS CITIZENSHIP, AND WITH
NO DOCUMENTATION, HE WAS
DETAINED.
>> I DON'T THINK I'M A CRIMINAL,
BUT BEING IN THIS COUNTRY, I
FEEL LIKE ONE BECAUSE I DON'T
HAVE THE PAPERWORK.
>> Ike: HE WAS SENT TO A FEDERAL
DETENTION CENTER IN DOVER, NEW
HAMPSHIRE.
I TALK WITH ISMAEL ON THE PHONE
WHILE HE WAS WAITING FOR A COURT
HEARING.
>> I'M NOT ASHAMED.
GOD KNOWS AND HE GIVES ME AN
OPPORTUNITY TO STAY HERE.
I WILL CONTINUE WORKING.
>> Ike: ISMAEL FAILED A CLAIM
FOR ASYLUM, A REQUEST TO BE
ALLOWED TO STAY IN THE UNITED
STATES BECAUSE OF FEAR OF
PERSECUTION IN HIS NATIVE
MEXICO.
HIS PINGS IS NOW BEING --
PETITION IS NOW BEING CONSIDERED
AND HE'S BACK IN VERMONT, NO
LONGER FEARING ARREST.
>> YES, I AM UNDOCUMENTED, BUT I
ALSO HAVE PAPERWORK SHOWING I'M
STARTING THE PROCESS.
SO I AM ABLE TO STAY.
>> Ike: THAT'S NOT THE CASE FOR
HUNDREDS OF OTHER UNDOCUMENTED
FARM WORKERS IN OUR REGION WHO
WORRY ABOUT ENCOUNTERS WITH
BORDER PATROL.
ADVOCACY GROUP MIGRANT JUSTICE
BELIEVES FEDERAL AGENTS HAVE
INCREASED VISIBILITY AROUND
FARMS TO KEEP THE MIGRANT
WORKERS IN THE SHADOWS.
>> IT'S EASIER TO HAVE THEM
HIDDEN, WORKING, NOT SPEAKING
OUT.
>> Ike: BORDER PATROL DENIES ANY
SPECIAL ATTENTION PAID TO FARMS.
THEY WOULD NOT AGREE TO SPEAK ON
CAMERA, BUT ISSUED A STATEMENT
SAYING IN CERTAIN AREAS OF
SWANTON SECTOR, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
TO TRAVEL EAST OR WEST WITHOUT
DRIVING BY FARMS, AND BORDER
PATROL SAYS ITS AGENTS ARE NOT
TARGETING FARM WORKERS, SAYING
ARRESTS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT
WORK ON FARMS REPRESENT A SMALL
PERCENTAGE, LOW SINGLE DIGIT, OF
THE TOTAL APPREHENSIONS BY
BORDER PATROL AGENTS.
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A U.S.
CITIZEN?
>> YES, I WANT TO BE A U.S.
CITIZEN.
>> Pres. Trump: WE HAVE TO STOP
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.
WE HAVE TO, WE HAVE TO.
>> Ike: ISMAEL IS SEEKING TO
STAY IN THE MIDST OF A HEATED
DEBATE OVER U.S. IMMIGRATION
POLICY, SECURING U.S. BORDERS,
AND LIMITING IMMIGRATION ARE
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S TOP
PRIORITIES.
>> Pres. Trump: WE HAVE SOME BAD
HOMBRES HERE AND WE'RE GOING TO
GET THEM OUT.
>> Ike: DEMOCRATS LIKE VERMONT
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY OPPOSE
TRUMP'S HARD-LINE STANCE.
LEAHY HAS SUPPORTED BIPARTISAN
REFORM THAT WOULD GIVE
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS A PATH TO
CITIZENSHIP.
>> THESE PEOPLE COME IN AND PAY
TAXES AND EARN MONEY AND HELP
THE ECONOMY.
>> Ike: VERMONT'S MOST SENIOR
SENATOR TAKES PRIDE IN FIGHTING
FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS.
>> THEY WORK HARD, THEY WORK
VERY HARD AND WE VERMONTERS
OUGHT TO BE GLAD THAT THEY'RE
HERE.
>> Ike: FARMERS WE'VE TALKED
ABOUT BLAME ELECTED OFFICIALS OF
ALL POLITICAL PARTIES.
>> WHY DOESN'T CONGRESS ACT?
I'M NOT SURE.
>> Darren: COMING UP NEXT,
SECRET DELIVERIES.
HOW THESE UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS
LIVING IN FEAR GET THE SUPPLIES
THEY NEED TO SURVIVE.
>> Darren: WELL, MOST PEOPLE
FEEL FINE TO BUY STUFF LIKE
THIS, BUT FOR HUNDREDS OF
UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANT FARM
WORKERS IN VERMONT, GOING TO THE
GROCERY STORE CAN BE RISKY.
OUR IKE BENDAVID EXPLAINS WHY
FARM HANDS HERE ILLEGALLY ARE
STAYING IN THE SHADOWS AND HOW
THEY'RE GETTING HELP.
>> Ike: FRANKLIN COUNTY IS HOME
TO 116 DAIRY FARMS.
MORE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTY IN
VERMONT.
ENOSBURGH FALLS IS RIGHT IN THE
HARD OF FARM COUNTRY AND ON ANY
DAY, IT'S NOT UNCOMMON TO SEE
FARMERS OUT AND ABOUT IN TOWN,
BUT MIGRANT WORKERS, THAT'S A
DIFFERENT STORY.
>> IT WOULD CERTAINLY SEEM LIKE
THEY DON'T VENTURE FAR FROM THE
FARM.
>> THEY'RE REALLY HARD WORKING
PEOPLE AND THEY PRETTY MUCH STAY
TO THEMSELVES.
>> Ike: EVEN AT THE CORNER
STORE, SIGHTINGS OF THIS MOSTLY
CENTRAL AMERICAN POPULATION ARE
RARE.
>> I NEVER SEE THEM COME INTO
THE STORE.
I DON'T EVEN THINK THEY LEAVE
THE AREA.
I DON'T THINK THEY LEAVE THE
FARM.
>> THEY'RE HUMAN BEINGS JUST
LIKE WE ARE-
>> Ike: PAUL GERVIS IS ONE OF
THE OWNERS OF THE GERVIS FAMILY
FARM.
THEY HAVE TWO LOCATIONS JUST
ABOUT TEN MILES FROM THE
NORTHERN BORDER.
HE SAYS THEY HAVE SEVERAL
MIGRANT WORKERS ON THEIR FARM.
HE TURNED TO THEM AFTER
VERMONTERS WERE NOT APPLYING.
HOW VITAL ARE MIGRANT WORKERS ON
YOUR DAIRY FARM?
>> WELL, THEY WANT TO GET OUT
THERE AND THEY WANT TO HELP.
I MEAN, ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO
HELP ON A FARM IS VERY VITAL.
>> Ike: BUT TO HELP US
UNDERSTAND WHY YOU MIGHT NOT SEE
MIGRANTS AND THE WORK THEY DO,
GERVIS PUT IT IN TV TERMS.
>> THE PEOPLE YOU DON'T SEE, THE
ONES BEHIND THE SCENES, JUST
LIKE YOU GUYS PRODUCING
SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, WE MAY NOT
SEE HER, ALWAYS BEHIND THE
SCENES.
SO --
>> Ike: THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN.
>> YES, YES.
>> Ike: OUT OF FOCUS AND OUT OF
THE PICTURE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
BY EVERYONE.
>> A LOT OF NEEDS NOT BEING MET.
>> Ike: THIS AMERICAN CITIZEN
SPENDS HER DAYS HELPING MIGRANT
WORKERS.
SHE SPOKE TO US UNDER THE
CONDITION THAT WE DO NOT REVEAL
HER IDENTITY.
SHE SAYS WHAT STARTED AS A
MESSENGER SERVICE TO HELP DRIVE
AND TRANSLATE FOR WORKERS ON
FARMS, TURNED INTO A FULL-TIME
JOB AS A MOBILE MARKET AND TAXI
SERVICE FOR MIGRANT WORKERS.
>> YOU'D LIKE A SODA, YOU CAN GO
TO THE STORE.
THEY CAN'T.
THINK OF WHAT YOU EAT, YOU
DRINK, EVERY PRODUCT YOU USE,
SHAMPOO, CREAMS, LOTIONS,
POTIONS, EVERY SINGLE THING YOU
WANT.
>> Ike: SHE SAYS SHE VISITS
DOZENS OF FARMS AND OPENS UP
SHOP.
EVEN TAKES SPECIAL REQUESTS FOR
THE NEXT VISIT.
HER WORK PROVIDES A MEASURE OF
COMFORT FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN THE
SHADOWS BECAUSE MOST OF HER
CUSTOMERS ARE HERE ILLEGALLY.
SHE FEELS SHE ALSO HAS TO STAY
IN THE SHADOWS.
>> I DON'T KNOW ANYONE TRACKING
ME TO A FARM AND FINDING THEM.
BORDER PATROL KNOWS, OBVIOUSLY,
WHERE THE WORKERS ARE.
I DON'T MEAN TO IMPLY THAT THEY
DON'T KNOW.
IT'S A SECRET, BUT IT'S NOT A
SECRET.
>> WHAT I FOUND OVER THE LAST
FEW YEARS HAS BEEN KIND OF A
MUTUAL DEPENDENCY.
>> Ike: DAN BAKER IS A COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT PROFESSOR AT UVM.
OVER THE LAST DECADE, HE'S BEEN
RESEARCHING MIGRANT FARMERS IN
VERMONT, CONDUCTING SURVEYS OF
THE WORKERS, FARMERS, AND THE
PUBLIC.
ARE THEY STILL LIVING IN THE
SHADOWS?
>> THEY ARE STILL LIVING IN THE
SHADOWS AND I THINK THAT IS
LARGELY DUE TO FEDERAL CHANGES
IN FEDERAL POLICY.
>> Ike: BAKER POINTED TO
INCREASED ENFORCEMENT OF
IMMIGRATION LAWS UNDER PRESIDENT
TRUMP.
>> Pres. Trump: WE ARE BUILDING
THE WALL.
>> Ike: BUT AT THE STATE LEVEL,
VERMONT HAS TAKEN STEPS TO
WELCOME MIGRANT WORKERS.
THAT INCLUDES DRIVER PRIVILEGE
CARD, FAIR POLICING AND POLICIES
AND EVEN THE MOVE IN SOME
COMMUNITIES TO EXTEND THE RIGHT
TO VOTE IN LOCAL ELECTIONS.
>> THE CHALLENGES THAT VERMONT
BY ITSELF CANNOT CHANGE THAT
FEDERAL POLICY.
>> Ike: WHAT CAN BE DONE?
>> I THINK THAT WE COULD TALK
ABOUT PROGRAMS TO ADDRESS SOME
CRITICAL ISSUES LIKE, FOR
EXAMPLE, HOUSING AND
TRANSPORTATION AND ACCESS TO
HEALTH CLINICS.
>> Darren: AND JOINING ME NOW TO
TALK MORE ABOUT THIS IS PRODUCER
DANIELA FIERRO AND IKE BENDAVID
WHO WORKED ON THIS PROJECT.
GOOD MORNING FOR BOTH OF YOU.
>> Daniela: GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: WHY DID YOU WANT TO
REVISIT THIS PROJECT?
>> Ike: IT'S BEEN OVER TEN YEARS
SINCE WE FIRST VISITED THIS AT
CHANNEL 3.
BEING A VERMONTER MYSELF, YOU
GROW UP WITH AGRICULTURE, FROM
MAPLE SYRUP TO THE DAIRY.
YOU SEE THE CHALLENGES THAT THE
FARMERS FACE THEMSELVES, BUT
THEN ON THE REPORTER'S SIDE
HERE, YOU SEE THE PROTESTS AND
ACTIVISTS FROM BOTH SIDES AND IT
MADE ME WONDER WHAT'S GOING ON
TODAY.
IT'S BEEN TEN YEARS, SO WE
REVISITED THIS.
WE WANTED TO GO BACK AND TAKE
THAT LOOK ABOUT HOW IT IS RIGHT
NOW IN 2019.
>> Daniela: AND FOR ME, I GREW
UP IN TEXAS, LIVED ON THE
BORDER.
I SEE THIS IMMIGRATION ISSUE
GOING ON EVERY SINGLE DAY AND SO
WHEN I FOUND OUT THERE WERE
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS LIVING
IN VERMONT AND, YOU KNOW, WE
REALLY HADN'T COVERED THE STORY
IN TEN YEARS, I FIGURED, YOU
KNOW, WHY NOT?
WHY SHOULDN'T WE?
SO WE WENT OUT AND GOT SOME
REALLY NICE PEOPLE TO TALK TO US
AND THAT'S HOW IT REALLY
STARTED.
>> Ike: TO SUM IT UP, THEY'RE
STILL IN THE SHADOWS.
THAT'S THE BIG THING WE FOUND
REVISITING THIS.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT
THAT.
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO GET THESE
FOLKS TO SHARE THEIR STORIES?
>> Ike: YES.
THAT'S THE EASY ANSWER.
YES.
WE HAD PEOPLE, WE SHOW UP ON
FARMS AND THEY COULD BE THE
FRIENDLIEST VERMONT FARMERS THEY
COULD BE, BUT THEY DIDN'T WANT
US EVEN NEAR.
THERE'S PEOPLE WHO AGREED OVER
THE PHONE TO TALK ON CAMERA AND
THEN LAST SECOND DIDN'T WANT TO
BE A PART OF IT.
THEY THINK THE STORY IS
IMPORTANT AND WANTED TO BE, BUT
IT REALLY SHOWS HOW MUCH OF AN
ISSUE IT REALLY IS.
ON SOME POINTS, YOU KNOW, I
THINK WHEN WE TALKED WITH
ISMAEL, HE SAID HE'S NOT LIVING
IN FEAR ANYMORE SINCE HE'S KIND
OF DETAINED, SO THAT WAS A
LITTLE EASIER, BUT THEY'RE STILL
LIVING IN FEAR AND IT WAS
DEFINITELY SOMETHING DIFFICULT
TO FIND.
>> Darren: YOU GUYS VISITED
SEVERAL FARMS IN VERMONT.
DAN BAKER WHO YOU FOCUSED ON IN
THE STORY HAS VISITED COUNTLESS
FARMS AND DONE A BUNCH OF
RESEARCH ON THIS.
WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE
HIM IN THE STORY?
>> Ike: HE'S A RESEARCHER AT UVM
AND HE SURVEYS THE PUBLIC, THE
MIGRANT WORKERS THEMSELVES, AND
IN ADDITION TO THE FARMERS, AND
HE GAVE A PERSPECTIVE WHICH WAS
SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT, THE MIDDLE
POINT OF VIEW OF THE RESEARCHER
AND TAKE A LISTEN TO WHAT HE HAD
TO SAY.
>> WHAT I FOUND OVER THE LAST
FEW YEARS HAS BEEN KIND OF A
MUTUAL DEPENDENCY BETWEEN OUR
DAIRY FARMERS AND OUR WORKERS.
THE WORKERS OBVIOUSLY WANT
EMPLOYMENT AND GOOD-PAYING JOBS
AND OUR FARMERS ARE ADDRESSING A
CHRONIC LABOR SHORTAGE, LOCAL
LABOR SHORTAGE BY HIRING THESE
LATIN EX-WORKERS.
>> Ike: CAN THE FARMERS FIND
VERMONTERS TO FILL THESE JOBS?
>> THERE'S BEEN A SHORTAGE SINCE
2010 OF LOCAL WORKERS WHO WANT
TO WORK ON DAIRY FARMS AND
THAT'S GOTTEN WORSE EVERY YEAR
SINCE 2010.
>> Ike: WHEN YOU'RE ON THE FARM,
WHAT ARE THESE MIGRANT WORKERS
TELLING YOU?
>> WELL, WHEN WE INTERVIEW THE
WORKERS, WE INTERVIEWED 173
LATIN EX-WORKERS IN 2016 JUST
BEFORE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION,
YOU KNOW, AND THEY SAID THEIR
PRIMARY CONCERNS, THE PRIMARY
STRESSORS WAS THE MIGRATION
JOURNEY ITSELF WAS EXTREMELY
DIFFICULT AND WORRIES ONCE THEY
GET HERE ABOUT BEING DEPORTED,
HIGH STRESS, MISSING THEIR
FAMILY, AND THEN SOME THINGS
THAT ARE SPECIFIC TO DAIRY
FARMS.
BEING INJURED ON A DAIRY FARM IS
A CONCERN AS WELL.
>> Darren: SO THE FARMS YOU
TALKED TO SAID THEY REALLY CAN'T
FIND VERMONTERS, THEY CAN'T FIND
AMERICANS TO WORK ON THESE
FARMS.
CAN YOU DIVE INTO THAT A LITTLE
BIT MORE?
DO WE KNOW WHY?
>> Ike: YEAH, I THINK THE
BIGGEST THING IS IT'S TOUGH
WORK.
IT'S HARD WORK AND THEY'RE
LOOKING FOR VERMONTERS.
THAT'S THE ONE THING EVERY
SINGLE FARMER I SPOKE WITH SAID.
IT'S NOT LIKE WE'RE RUNNING AWAY
FROM THE FACT THIS IS HAPPENING.
GETTING UP EARLY IN THE MORNING,
IF IT'S WORKING IN A DIRTY BARN,
IF IT'S WORKING THE LONG HOURS
AND WHAT THEY'RE SAYING IS
MIGRANT FARMERS, THEY WANT THE
JOBS AND THEY WANT MORE HOURS.
SO EVEN IF THEY'RE TRYING TO
REDUCE THE HOURS, THEY WANT IT
ALL THE TIME AND IN ADDITION,
THE MIGRANT FARMERS, WORKING IN
DAIRY FARMS, THAT'S YEAR ROUND
AND IT'S -- SOMETIMES IF THEY GO
SOUTH OR THERE'S DIFFERENT
THINGS THEY WANT TO DO, THEY'RE
WORKING IN THE FIELD.
IF IT'S RAINING, THEY CAN'T WORK
IN THE FIELD, BUT RIGHT NOW
BECAUSE THEY'RE BRINGING THE
DAIRY FARMERS HERE, THE MIGRANT
FARMERS, THEY WANT TO CHOOSE
VERMONT BECAUSE IT'S YEAR-ROUND
WORKING IN DAIRY.
>> Darren: THE MENTAL WELL-BEING
OF THESE WORKERS WAS ALSO
BROUGHT UP IN YOUR
INVESTIGATION.
TELL ME ABOUT THAT.
>> Ike: YES, THE PROFESSOR AT
UVM OFFERED AN INTERESTING POINT
OF VIEW ON THAT.
HE SAID OBVIOUSLY NOT ONLY THE
PERSPECTIVE OF TRAVELING ACROSS
THE BORDER ON THAT LONG TRIP FOR
THE MIGRANT WORKERS, IT'S
SOMETHING -- THE STRESSES THAT
LIVING HERE, BEING A NON-NATIVE
PERSON IN VERMONT, THE STRESS OF
POTENTIAL ARREST AND DEPORTATION
ALONG WITH LIVING ON THE FARM.
THIS IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.
>> I THINK WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT
HOW WE -- WHAT WE CAN DO HERE IN
VERMONT TO BUILD TRUST.
WE NEED TO BE CLEAR ABOUT
SEPARATING STATE FUNCTIONS AND
STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
I THINK THAT WE COULD TALK ABOUT
PROGRAMS TO ADDRESS SOME
CRITICAL ISSUES LIKE, FOR
EXAMPLE, HOUSING AND
TRANSPORTATION AND ACCESS TO
HEALTH CLINICS.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE COULD DO,
VERY STRONG, OVER 90% SUPPORT IN
VERMONT FOR A LEGAL WORKER
PROGRAM SIMILAR TO WHAT WE HAVE
IN APPLES AND VEGETABLES, AND
THAT IS CONSISTENT.
THE CHALLENGE IS THAT VERMONT,
BY ITSELF, CANNOT CHANGE THAT
FEDERAL POLICY, BUT THAT'S ONE
THING THAT, WHEN IT BECOMES
POSSIBLE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, A
LEGAL MIGRANT WORKER PROGRAM FOR
DAIRY FARMERS WOULD DO A
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT TO HELP.
>> Darren: DANIELA AS THE
PRODUCER AND TRANSLATOR, WHAT
WAS IT LIKE HAVING THESE
CONVERSATIONS DIRECTLY WITH
THEM?
>> Daniela: IT WAS SORT OF
DIFFICULT, HONESTLY.
I'M ONE OF THE LUCKY PEOPLE
WHOSE FAMILIES CAME HERE
LEGALLY, GREW UP HERE, BUT YOU
DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT IT IS
WHEN YOU SIT DOWN -- YOU DON'T
KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE JOURNEY
UNTIL YOU SIT DOWN WITH THEM AND
HEAR WHAT THEY GO THROUGH, AND
SO IT WAS EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTING
AT LEAST FOR MYSELF BECAUSE I
WAS PUT IN A POSITION WHERE NOW
I'M STARTING TO LEARN EXACTLY
WHAT THEIR JOURNEY IS LIKE AND
NO JOURNEY IS EXACTLY THE SAME.
EACH ONE OF THEM HAD A DIFFERENT
ONE.
>> Darren: AND WAS THERE A
DIFFERENCE, SPEAKING OF BETWEEN
TALKING TO THE WORKERS ON THE
FARM IN ADDISON COMPARED TO
TALKING WITH ISMAEL WHO HAD
ALREADY BEEN DETAINED?
>> Daniela: YEAH, JUST LIKE I
SAID A FEW MINUTES AGO, ISMAEL
IS NO LONGER IN FEAR.
I MEAN, HE, YOU KNOW, WAS
DETAINED A FEW MONTHS AGO IN THE
SUMMER AND, YOU KNOW, HE'S GONE
THROUGH HIS COURT PAPERWORK AND
ONE OF THE VERY LUCKY THINGS
ABOUT ISMAEL IS THAT HE IS OUT.
IT WAS ONLY A FEW SHORT MONTHS
THAT HE WAS IN A DETENTION
CENTER.
MEANWHILE, THERE'S SO MANY
PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE STILL
IN THOSE DETENTION CENTERS, WHO
HAVE BEEN THERE FOR YEARS, AND
THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THEIR
COURT DATE IS GOING TO BE.
AND WITH, YOU KNOW, THE OTHER
TWO AT THE OTHER FARM, THEY
STILL HAVE THAT FEAR.
THEY DON'T LEAVE WHERE THEY
LIVE.
THEY DON'T GO OUT GROCERY
SHOPPING UNLESS THEIR BOSS TAKES
THEM OR THEY DON'T GO OUT UNLESS
THEY GO IN GROUPS, AND THEY'RE
ALWAYS FEARFUL.
ONE OF THE STORIES THAT, YOU
KNOW, THE FARMER HUNT TOLD US
WAS THAT, YOU KNOW, A FEW YEARS
BACK, WITH DIFFERENT WORKERS,
THEY HAD THE SHERIFF PASSING BY
AND THEY ALL SCATTERED, EVEN
THOUGH THE SHERIFF WAS NOT THERE
TO ARREST ANYONE.
HE WAS JUST PASSING BY.
AND IT -- IT'S A DIFFERENCE THAT
YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW UNTIL YOU
MEET THESE PEOPLE.
>> Darren: IS THERE A CONCERN, A
FEAR AT ALL FROM EITHER ONE OF
YOU THAT TELLING THESE STORIES,
THEY'RE FULL ON FACE.
WE DIDN'T IDENTIFY SPECIFICALLY
WHERE THESE FARMS ARE, BUT IS
THERE A CONCERN IN IDENTIFYING
THEM, THAT THEY COULD THEN BE
PUT IN JEOPARDY BECAUSE OF OUR
STORY?
>> Daniela: THERE'S ALWAYS GOING
TO BE THAT CONCERN REGARDLESS
WHETHER OR NOT WE'VE DONE THE
STORY.
WHEN I SPOKE TO THEM AT THE
FARM, THEY WERE -- I TOLD THEM
IN SPANISH, YOU KNOW, WE WANT TO
TELL THE STORY, WE WANT TO
EXPLAIN TO THE WORLD THAT YOU'RE
JUST HERE TO WORK, AND THEY WERE
VERY NICE AND THEY WERE WILLING
TO RISK IT JUST TO BE ABLE TO
SHOW TO THE WORLD THAT -- TO THE
UNITED STATES THAT THEY'RE NOT
HERE TO CAUSE ANY HARM OR RAPE
OR ANYTHING, AND THEY WERE
REALLY NICE ABOUT IT.
THEY JUST WANTED TO TELL THAT
STORY.
>> Ike: I THINK IT WAS
IMPORTANT, THAT WAS A BIG THING
FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW, THEY
JUST WANTED TO TELL THEIR STORY.
ISMAEL FOR AN EXAMPLE AND
PERSPECTIVE, HE WAS MORE RELAXED
FOR SURE, BUT HE WANTED TO TELL
THE STORY THAT HE WAS HERE TO
WORK.
HE'S HERE TO -- HE WANTS TO BE
AN AMERICAN, SO THAT'S A LITTLE
DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE STORY.
BUT HE SAYS IT'S THE STEREOTYPE
OF THE MAJORITY WHICH SOME
PEOPLE MIGHT EXPRESS OR FEEL IS,
FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW, NOT WHAT
IT IS.
THEY'RE HERE TO WORK AND SEND
MONEY BACK TO THEIR FAMILY.
>> Darren: SO BAKER HAS WORKED
WITH THIS POPULATION.
WHAT -- THIS IS THE RESEARCHER
AT UVM.
WHAT DOES HE THINK NEEDS TO
HAPPEN FROM THIS POINT ON?
>> Ike: WITH HIS TIME ON FARMS,
HE'S SEEN WORK ALREADY BEING
DONE, BUT HE SAYS IF SOMETHING
CAN BE DONE FEDERALLY, EVEN MORE
CAN BE DONE RIGHT HERE IN
VERMONT.
>> I THINK WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT
HOW WE -- WHAT WE CAN DO HERE IN
VERMONT TO BUILD TRUST.
WE NEED TO BE CLEAR ABOUT
SEPARATING STATE FUNCTIONS AND
STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
I THINK THAT WE COULD TALK ABOUT
PROGRAMS TO ADDRESS SOME
CRITICAL ISSUES LIKE, FOR
EXAMPLE, HOUSING,
TRANSPORTATION, ACCESS TO HEALTH
CLINICS.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE COULD
DO, THERE'S VERY STRONG, OVER
90% SUPPORT IN VERMONT FOR A
LEGAL WORKER PROGRAM SIMILAR TO
WHAT WE HAVE IN APPLES AND
VEGETABLES.
>> Darren: SO YOU HEARD HIM
RECAPPING THERE SOME OF THE
THINGS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED
HERE.
IKE, I'M CURIOUS, IN THE LAST
TEN YEARS, WHAT'S CHANGED?
>> Ike: YEAH, FARMERS,
ESPECIALLY THOSE ON LARGE FARMS,
TELL US MIGRANT WORKERS ARE
VITAL FOR THEIR OPERATION.
WE ESTIMATE 1,000 MIGRANTS ON
DAIRY FARMS IN OUR REGION, MOST
COME TO THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY OR
OVERSTAY THEIR VISA, BUT BASED
ON ARREST STATISTICS PROVIDED TO
US FROM BORDER PATROL, IT
APPEARS THAT FEDERAL AGENTS ARE
WILLING TO LEAVE THEM ABOUT AS
LONG AS THEY STAY ON FARMS AND
IN THE SHADOWS.
>> Darren: SO AT THE BOTTOM OF
THIS, NOT A LOT HAS CHANGED IN
TEN YEARS.
THANK YOU BOTH FOR THIS REALLY
INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT SERIES
OF REPORTS.
APPRECIATE THAT.
AND THANK YOU ALL FOR WATCHING.
THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS CONTINUES
RIGHT HERE ON THE WEEKEND.
TAKE CARE, EVERYBODY, AND HAVE A
WONDERFUL SUNDAY.
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