US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agents arrested 24 year old Medardo Cruz-Ventura on January 24th. Edgar Franks, Political Director of Familias Unidas por la Justicia describes how ICE activities impact Washington’s Skagit Valley where farmworkers make up 30% of the population.
Honesto Silva Ibarra was an H2A visa guest worker and 27 year old father of two from Mexico. He died in Washington state, as a worker at Sarbanand Farms. Around the time he became ill, other workers at the same farm were reported ill, dehydrated from the extreme heat and heavy smoke from the summer forest fires.
What came out of the investigation into Silva Ibarra’s death was the passage of State Bill 5438, created to fund an office tasked with monitoring labor, housing, and health and safety requirements for farms using the H2A visa program. It also prioritizes outreach to domestic farmworkers before farms use the H2A program.
Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Development (C2C) spoke with KBCS’s Yuko Kodama about the H2A Guest Worker Program and the latest with the Washington State H2A Program Oversight Committee.
Produced by Yuko Kodama
Photo: Community to Community Development