No Guests Allowed: Dairy Workers and the H2 Program

Authors: Margaret Gray*, , Julie Keller, University of Rhode Island, Adrienne DerVartanian, Farmworker Justice, Molly Graver, New Mexico Legal Aid, Mariah Hennen, Legal Action of Wisconsin
Topics: Rural Geography, Agricultural Geography, Human Rights
Keywords: farmworkers, dairy, H2, guestworker
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Calvert Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Relying on interviews, government data, and news reports, this paper explores issues surrounding guestworkers in the U.S. dairy industry. The goals of this paper are threefold: first we examine current efforts and justifications to include dairy workers in the H2 program, including an assessment of dairy worker labor shortages; second, we investigate several cases of fraud when farmers have illegally brought guestworkers to U.S. dairy farms; and finally, we will consider the advantages and disadvantages—for workers—of current guestworker proposals. These goals will be explored in the context of the increasing consolidation of the dairy industry, the twenty-first century ethnic succession from native-born to foreign-born, mostly Latinx, workers, and the work conditions of dairy workers.

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