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Briefing #4: Immigrant Dairy Workers in Rural Wisconsin Communities
Miscellaneous Publications No. , July 2009
by Jill Harrison, Sarah Lloyd and Trish O'Kane

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This research project pays special attention to the important role that Latino immigrants now play in Wisconsin's dairy industry. In this report, we describe factors that shape immigrant workers' public life, highlighting the role of immigration policy and community acceptance. Latino immigrants are increasingly prevalent residents in rural Wisconsin by virtue of their work on dairy farms. However, despite their various economic and social contributions, many immigrant dairy workers and their families live with a daily sense of apprehension and alienation in the communities in which they live. The challenges of community integration go beyond language and culture. Other factors include demanding work schedules in remote rural locations, legal status issues, fear of surveillance by law enforcement and others, restrictions on driver's licenses, and community acceptance of immigrants.

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