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A Hidden Workforce | #curiousKC


– [Peter] Immigration is an important part of the agricultural labor
force, especially in Kansas. Interrupting that flow would
have devastating effects. (chiming music) – This is a weekly operation, that we do a weekly event
that we do on Mondays. We have food and other services available for the year-round population
of workers and farm workers that live here, year-round. We have food bags, we have
diapers, we have T-shirts, we have water bottles, we
have all kinds of services. We have a medical clinic tonight. We’ve seen people be really nervous, more people asking us
for rides to appointments rather than when they would
have driven themselves in the past. They are much for more fearful
of accessing public benefits. – I came here as an undocumented minor. My story is not unique in that sense, because we’re seeing even more, nowadays, people traveling across the border, risking everything to come here. And many of them, just like my mother, came here to do some of the
silent work of this country. – The current administration
put forth a face of, at least, of, “Protecting American jobs”. And I say that in quotes,
because most of the jobs that are done, at least
by undocumented immigrants are jobs that Americans don’t wanna do. You might not consider
meatpacking to be agriculture, but it depends upon agriculture, and agriculture depends upon it. There is a net fiscal
benefit from immigration to both the states of Kansas and Missouri, that is when you count up
the taxes they generate and offset them with the cost
of education, healthcare, etc. The net is a positive from the
perspective of immigration. – The vast majority of the
agricultural work being done in the United States, is by migrants, it’s by unauthorized workers. In that sense, we are used and exploited. That’s when our status is okay,
but when we ask for dignity and when we ask for reform,
then we’re no longer needed. Undocumented immigrants, cannot, by law, receive any federal benefits. I am paying taxes. You know, every time that I get a paycheck there is a pay cut that
goes into social security and all their federal benefits, that I am not eligible to use
because of my unlawful status. In reality, I am the one who
is giving it to the system and the system is not
giving anything to me. I am not abusing the system, the system is abusing me and my community.

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