From Host.Madison.com, Wisconsin State Journal, “Melissa A. Johnson: Migrant workers hit by budget, too” by Melissa A. Johnson, 31 Mar 2011.
[Madison, WI] –The November election results showed us that Wisconsin voters were seduced by the gospel of the tea party. This uncivilized budget is the bitter fruit of that faith.
Let us not overlook, among a list of devastating cuts, that this budget eliminates food stamps for immigrants such as legal migrant workers. In a nod to the demonization of immigrants, the budget notes these cuts are for those who “cannot meet federal residency requirements.” The very nature of migrant work makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to meet these requirements.
These hired workers on our dairy farms do painstaking jobs for low wages that many others simply won’t do. The food production system in this country, for its many flaws, is dependent on the labor of immigrants. The overfed rich will be fine, of course, but the people laboring for that food will struggle in the shadows, as they always have. Who will speak up for the migrant worker?
– Melissa A. Johnson, Cottage Grove