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January 1997, Volume 3, Number 1

Rural America

Southeast: Mexican Migrants on the Chicken Trail
The Los Angeles Times on November 10-12, 1996 ran a three-part story on "the chicken trail" -- the recruitment of Latino poultry workers along the

Midwest: Hispanics Accuse Police
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee sued the Ohio highway patrol in federal court, arguing that the highway patrol stops Hispanics and asks them

Mexicans to Alaska, Migrant Miners to Nevada
High-paying jobs are luring Mexicans to Alaska. Since 1980, Alaska's Hispanic population has nearly tripled from 9,000 to 25,000. Hispanics now

Water Problems in California
On July 28, 1996, the GAO released a report that showed that the US government had spent $22 billion on water projects in 17 western states, that

Minimum Wages and Poverty
The federal minimum wage went from $4.25 to $4.75 on October 1, 1996 and is scheduled to rise to $5.15 on September 1, 1997. An "opportunity wage"

Farm Workers

UFW Educates on Strawberries
On November 13, 1996, the UFW held a press conference at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington DC to announce a "Five Cents for Fairness" campaign to

Virginia Farm/Crab Workers
The Richmond Times Dispatch ran three articles on November 10, 1996 about farm workers in Virginia. There are 13,000 migrant farm workers in

No Farm Labor Shortages in 1996
There were no reports of significant farm labor shortages in 1996. In the single most labor-intensive activity in North America, the harvest of

California: TIPP, Housing, and ALRB
The Targeted Industries Partnership Program, a cooperative federal-state labor law enforcement effort, was launched in 1992, reportedly after

Union Cooperation in Washington Apples
The Seattle Times on November 14, 1996 reported that the Teamsters and the United Farm Workers requested no elections in Fall 1996 to represent the

Egg/Mushroom Farms in East
In July, 1996, DeCoster Egg Farms in Maine was fined $3.6 million by the Department of Labor for bad working and housing conditions. Labor Secretary

Florida H-2A Workers Sue; Record Citrus Crop
In January, 1997, a Florida Circuit Court Judge will hear a case against the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida brought by 1,500 Caribbean

Farm Worker Services
In many states, there is no competition for federal grants to serve farm workers. In FY95, there was no competition in 38 states to provide

Farm Worker Pesticide Standard Delayed; Tractor Safety
The EPA, which held nine public hearings and conducted more than 30 site visits between February and August 1996 to gather information on the first

Minority Farmers Allege USDA Discrimination
The number of Black farmers in the US fell from 33,000 in 1982 to 19,000 in 1992. The US had 1.93 million farms in 1992. The number of


Naturalization Controversy
Some 1.3 million foreigners applied to become naturalized US citizens in FY96 and 1.1 million became US citizens. The INS estimates that 1.8 million

Ethnic Voting in Fall 1996 Elections
Recently-naturalized US citizens voted overwhelmingly for Clinton in November 1996. An estimated 71 percent of Hispanics voted for Clinton. Only in

Assessing 1996 Immigration Changes
In 1996, three major laws that affect immigrants and immigration were enacted: The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, signed into law

Welfare/Immigration Reform Implementation
About 1.5 million of the nation's four million adult welfare recipients are likely to lose welfare benefits in the next few years and an additional

Dual Citizenship for Mexicans
The Mexican Senate and Chamber of Deputies approved legislation on December 10, 1996 that would permit Mexicans who become naturalized US citizens to


World Food Summit
A five-day World Food Summit was held in Rome under the auspices of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in mid-November, 1996, and one of

ILO: Improve Farm Worker Conditions
The International Labor Organization released a report on September 23, 1996 that calls for better working conditions, safer transport systems and

Mexican Inwquality, Tomatoes
On March 28, 1996, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo said that Mexico needed to distribute income more equally to address the growing gap between

Migrants in Argentina/Chile
The governor of Argentina's Tucuman province flew 500 unemployed sugar mill workers south to Rio Negro to find seasonal fruit picking jobs, prompting

Marketing Orders Ending?
The US Supreme Court on December 2, 1996 heard arguments on whether growers must contribute to generic advertising campaigns, such as "Got milk?" if

Mad Cow and EU Agriculture
Britain's $6.5 billion beef industry was rocked in 1996 by "mad cow" disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which led to an ban on exporting

California Food Production, Consumption and Expenditures
The summer of 1996 was one of the hottest summers on record in California. The heat caused crops to ripen faster and made it more difficult for

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