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Letter: Guest Workers for Dairy Farms

To the Editor:

With immigration reform back on the table, it may be a good time to look at implementing a rational policy regarding illegal aliens working on Vermont dairy farms. One possible option might be the establishment of a guest worker program similar to the H2A program that is now in use on fruit and vegetable farms. It would seem that a regulated program that allows for temporary foreign workers when local help cannot be found might be a good solution to the problem. Workers could be allowed for a period of six months at a time with a mandated break between work stints in the U.S. Workers could alternate shifts of working on dairy farms in this country. In this way, they would be able to maintain strong family ties in their native countries while being provided the opportunity for gainful legal employment. It works for fruit and vegetable farms, and a program may well be able to be modified to work in our dairy farms and provide an alternative to the current exploitive and illegal situation that we are now in.

John Freitag

South Strafford