This four-part series chronicles the lives of Mexican farmworkers in
Eastern Washington and explores the underground economy that supports
Washington's agricultural industry.
Needed but often illegal, they pick our crops, pine for home [June 18, 2000]
Migrant workers in Washington: Their lives tell the story of the cycle of Mexican migration and settlement in the United States, the transformation of rural villages in both countries, and a flawed U.S. immigration policy that criminalizes growers and workers alike but has not stopped illegal immigration or employment of undocumented workers.
INS has shifted focus, halted field raids [June 18, 2000]
Immigration policy in the United States and Washington has changed gears: Raids and chasing illegal immigrants is out. Finding ways to get more workers here, illegal or legal, is in.
Facts about the Washington farming industry [June 18, 2000]
'I need the work, they need the work done' [June 19, 2000]
Leonardo Herrera is an undocumented worker who dwells in two worlds: His family is in Mexico; his paycheck is earned in the United States. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service estimates there are 6 million illegal immigrants in the United States, including 52,000 in Washington. The Washington Growers League estimates the number is much higher..
Mexican foreman is essential to growers; he speaks Spanish, hires workers, bridges cultures [June 19, 2000]
Men who have worked their way up from illegal to legal, picker to boss, have the translation skills and cultural links growers need to employ a seasonal work force in Washington that since the 1970s has become nearly 100 percent Mexican.
Farm towns undergoing metamorphosis as Mexican workers decide to stay [June 20, 2000]
The home of Rosa and José Mungía, is one tiny pulse point in a vast human network of Mexicans who ease and enable the continued migration of their family, friends and neighbors into the United States, providing the job contacts, financial help, personal advice and familiar surroundings that newcomers - some legal, many not - need to survive.
Farmworkers arriving from Mexico don't plan to stay, but they do [June 20, 2000]
Waves are migration are changing the face of rural Washington towns like Toppenish.
In Pajacuarán, two houses: one lonely, one empty [June 21, 2000]
Two houses were built in Pajacuarán, each the realized dream of migrant labor. One house welcomed an old man home after three decades of field work, picking apples in America so he could retire to comfort in Mexico. The other house stands empty, left by the children and grandchildren who followed the old man north to work, but never came back.
Pajacuarán, Mexico: Where U.S. dollars fuel middle-class dreams [June 21, 2000]
From paved streets to three-story homes with satellite dishes, this remote rural village is a changed place because of money earned in Washington's orchards and fields.