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July 2016, Volume 22, Number 3

RURAL AMERICA

California: Water, Election
The 2015-16 water year was close to normal; the state's 154 major reservoirs held almost 22 million acre-feet of water on April 1, 2016, more than 85

Meat and Migrants
Workplace raids that removed unauthorized Hispanics from meatpacking plants in 2006-07 encouraged meatpackers to hire refugees, some of whom are

Labor, H-1B
Over the past four years, US job growth has averaged over 200,000 a month, almost all in the private sector. However, wages have risen slowly except

FARM WORKERS

California: Overtime Fails
AB 2757, the Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016, would have removed an exemption by January 1, 2022 that requires overtime pay

State Developments
New York. The New York Civil Liberties Union in May 2016 sued the state to have an 80-year-old prohibition on farm worker organizing declared

UFW, ALRB, NLRB, EPA
The United Farm Workers highlighted its achievements during its 20th constitutional convention in Bakersfield May 19-22, 2016, citing contracts with

H-2A; H-2B
The H-2A program continues to expand. In FY15, DOL certified 140,000 jobs to be filled with H-2A workers, including 66,000 in the first two

 
IMMIGRATION

DAPA Blocked, Politics
The US Supreme Court in June 2016 on a 4-4 tie vote let stand an appeals court decision to block President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of

DHS: Migrants, Asylum, Investors
The US had 42.2 million foreign-born residents in 2014; they were 13.2 percent of the 320 million US residents. In 1970, the US had fewer than 10

Canada, Mexico
Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016; SAWP began to bring Caribbean workers to Canada in

Europe: Migration Crisis
EU-member states received 1.3 million asylum applicants in 2015, almost double the 626,000 of 2014. Greece began returning asylum seekers who

Brexit, Germany
Britain. British voters June 23, 2016 voted 52-48 percent to leave the EU. Britain joined the EU in 1973, and 67 percent voted to stay in the EU in

Gulf, Asia
The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries employ about 24 million foreign workers, and these foreign workers are 80 percent or more of their private

OTHER

California: Sales, Labor
California had a "normal" water year in 2010-11 and again in 2015-16. Droughts reduced the availability of water for the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

US Ag, Supply Chains
Net farm income was a record $123 billion in 2012, and is projected to drop to $55 billion in 2016 because of low prices for milk, corn and soybeans.

Wine, Food
The top-selling wines in the US in 2015 accounted for 68 million nine-liter cases, equivalent to 18 percent of the 383 million cases of US wine

Global Population, Refugees, ILO
The world's population of 7.4 billion is increasing by 83 million a year, the difference between 140 million births and 57 million deaths. The UN's

Climate Change
In December 2015 in Paris, leaders of 195 countries agreed to reduce carbon emissions by developing voluntary national emission-reduction plans by

RESOURCES