“We saw this coming and we were speaking out about it. We did a press conference in April about how this was going to affect farmworkers and meat processing workers,” said Joanna Welborn, communication arts director for Student Action with Farmworkers. “We have always known that the conditions they live and work in are just ripe for potential abuse.”
According to Welborn, members of the Farmworker Advocacy Network have been meeting with Cooper’s staff members biweekly and the governor promised to issue an executive order giving farmworkers access to health care and protections against retaliation. But after three weeks of planning, the governor changed his mind and no order will be issued.
The protections are needed because one of the biggest obstacles to getting farmworkers in North Carolina screened is their concern about their undocumented status, said Benjamin William, a staff attorney for NC Legal Aid who works with H-2A workers.Continue reading this article