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Rural Migration Blog

NAWS 2015-16 Crop Farm Workers

February 14, 2019

The National Agricultural Worker Survey released data for FY15 and FY16 based on interviews with 5,342 crop workers employed on over 1,100 farms in January 2019.

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Walls, Caravans, and the Mexico-US Border

February 14, 2019

President Trump allowed nine of the 15 federal agencies to close on December 22, 2018 after Congress refused to appropriate $5.7 billion for construction of a wall on the Mexico-US border. The result was a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in modern times; the previous longest shutdown lasted 21 days in 1995.

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Farm Labor Shortages

February 14, 2019

There are many complaints of farm labor shortages; Google returns over nine million links for “farm labor shortage.” Most are media reports quoting farmers who say they cannot recruit enough workers to harvest perishable commodities before they lose value. Surveys find that a third of growers would like to hire more workers.

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California: Higher Minimum Wages and Overtime

February 14, 2019

California's minimum wage rose to $12 an hour January 1, 2019 for employers with 26 or more workers, and will be $15 an hour for large employers after January 1, 2022. Some 2.3 million California workers earned less than $12 an hour in 2017.

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Immigration to Canada

February 14, 2019

Canada admitted 286,500 permanent residents in 2017, down from 286,400 in 2016. The immigrants admitted in 2017 included 56 percent in the economic stream, meaning that one member of the family achieved enough points to get an immigrant visa. Of the 159,300 points-test immigrants admitted in 2017, 57,800 arrived under the federal skilled worker program, 49,700 were provincial nominees, 22,300 were caregivers, and 29,500 were Quebec selections; Quebec selects its own immigrants.

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Migrants in Germany

January 18, 2019

A “river of migrants” moved to Western Europe and especially Germany in Fall 2015. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Afghanis, and Iraqis left Turkey’s western coast by inflatable boat for nearby Greek islands, and traveled north through Greece, Serbia, Hungary before arriving in Austria, Germany, and Sweden. The EU’s Dublin Regulation required migrants to apply for asylum in Greece, the first safe country they reached, but the bankrupt Greek government allowed migrants to pass through.

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AEWRs for H-2A Workers rise in 2019

January 18, 2019

The US Department of Labor published Adverse Effect Wage Rates for 2019. AEWRs are the minimum wage that must be paid to H-2A workers and US workers employed alongside them, and are based on USDA's Farm Labor Survey that asks employers to report the average hourly earnings of their field and livestock workers.

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California Cannabis after 1 Year

January 18, 2019

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana with Prop 215 in 1996, which gave people suffering from cancer and other diseases the "legal right to obtain or grow, and use marijuana for medical purposes when recommended by a doctor." California did not regulate cannabis production for medical marijuana extensively, but federal drug laws continue to classify marijuana with heroin, imposing a minimum five-year prison sentence on growers of more than 100 plants and prohibiting marijuana from moving legally across state lines.

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GCM Approved in Morocco and Endorsed in New York

January 18, 2019

The UN's Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), which includes 23 objectives to improve the management of international migration, was approved by 164 of the UN’s 193 member states in Marrakesh, Morocco in December 2018, and then formally adopted by the UN’s General Assembly in New York (refugeesmigrants.un.org). Austria, Australia, Israel, Hungary and other East European countries, as well as the US, did not sign the GCM.

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Government Shutdown over Border Wall Funding

January 18, 2019

One of candidate Donald Trump’s signature campaign promises was to build a wall on the Mexico-US border, and one of President Trump’s first executive orders directed the Department of Homeland Security to plan for a wall on the Mexico-US border. DHS in 2017-18 commissioned several prototypes of the wall, and improved fences and walls on the 700 miles of the 2,000 mile border that already have barriers aimed to deter the unauthorized entry of people and vehicles.

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