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YCQM Oct. 13, 2019

(WCAX)
Published: Oct. 13, 2019 at 3:54 PM EDT
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>> 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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