Sangre, Sudor y Lagrimas: Migrant Farm Workers and the Claims of Justice
From Jeff Layne
Faculty, Philosophy Department and Comparative Religion and Humanities Department, CSU, Chico
Susanna Boxall points out that undocumented migrant farm workers in the United States, most of them from Mexico, contributed $13 billion dollars in payroll taxes in 2013. Yet these workers face discrimination and many challenges. The problems begin with the militarized border between the U.S. and Mexico. Farm work itself is the second most dangerous job in the nation. There are health risks, primarily due to the physical nature of the work and exposure to pesticides, including increased levels of diabetes, musculoskeletal problems, tuberculosis, and cancer. Although their labor is essential to food production, the workers do not enjoy the benefits of other workers, including unemployment insurance, disability benefits, and food stamps, among others. Ms. Boxall concludes by stating these workers are economic refugees of U.S. free-trade policies and, therefore, especially deserve equal treatment and justice.
Recorded: October 12, 2016