AP STORY: Labor shortages, a new reality in agriculture?

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

I’m usually a big skeptic when it comes to labor shortages in agriculture. I put on my reporter hat and ask: are these shortages real, or are they just slogans used by the agriculture industry to advance an agenda? I say this, because for years – for decades – the U.S. had been awash in farmworkers streaming in from Mexico. …

AP STORY, AP PHOTOS: The farmworkers of 1986

Gosia Wozniacka AP PHOTOS

With the battle over the bipartisan “gang of eight” immigration bill heating up, I took a look at what the bill might do for farmworkers. While it’s hard to predict how workers will behave if given a path to citizenship faster than the rest of the undocumented population – but recent history offers a few interesting lessons. Just like the current …

AP STORY: Deferred Action for workers

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

Thousands of young immigrants lined up last week across the country hoping for the right to work legally in America without being deported. The Obama administration’s new program – called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA for short – is meant for those who came to the U.S. as children, grew up steeped in American culture and have little or nothing to …

AP STORY: Latino Strawberry Growers

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

Early this week, I drove to the Watsonville-Salinas valley on California’s Central Coast – half of the strawberries grown in the state come from this area. And California grows 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries. It is clear to see why Watsonville-Salinas is ‘strawberry central.’ As soon as you get off the highway, you are completely surrounded by strawberry fields. …

AP STORY: Supervisors take plea deal in farmworker death

Gosia Wozniacka AP STORIES

The criminal case over the heat-related death of teen farmworker Maria Isavel Vasquez Jimenez has come to an end. The result did not amount to much. In an emotionally charged courtroom, the farm supervisors who authorities say did not provide shade or water to the pregnant 17-year old took a plea deal. They didn’t get any jail time. Read about …