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Briefing #2: A Look into the Lives of Wisconsin's Immigrant Dairy Workers
Miscellaneous Publications No. , February 2009
by Jill Harrison, Sarah Lloyd and Trish O'Kane

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This project pays special attention to the important role that Latino immigrants now play in Wisconsin's dairy industry. In this second document, we provide a brief look into the lives of these Latino immigrant workers and the social vulnerabilities they experience as both workers and full members of the communities in which they live and to which they contribute. Latino dairy workers in Wisconsin today are similar in many ways to the European farm worker immigrants who came here in the past, particularly in regards to their reasons for coming to the United States. However, their current daily situation is very different. Changing immigration enforcement practices, especially policies that turn local police into federal immigration agents, make the border and surveillance a pervasive part of daily life for unauthorized immigrants, their friends and families, and the employers who have developed valuable relationships with them. The social vulnerabilities and inequalities facing this new population underscored the need for meaningful federal immigration reform that honors immigrants as both workers and full members of the communities in which they live and to which they contribute.

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