immigration

wamc.org

Support organizations that work with immigrant farm workers are trying to understand how President Obama's executive action affects people in Upstate New York.

"We've won a small victory but we really have a huge fight in front of us."

Carly Fox is an organizer with the Worker Justice Center of New York. She describes her reaction to Obama's announcement as bittersweet.

Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Local markets often provide a setting for refugee and immigrant-owned businesses to flourish. The Westside Bazaar is a multicultural marketplace in Buffalo that showcases food, merchandise and crafts made by people from a range of ethnic backgrounds.

Pou Ma is the owner of a gift shop at the Bazaar. She came to the United States from China several years ago when her husband was offered a job in Buffalo. Today, Ma is building her business around selling a range of items hand-crafted by family and friends.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

As lawmakers in the Senate's Judiciary Committee debate the immigration reform bill released last month, farmers in New York State are hoping to find enough workers to fully staff their operations.

It's a yearly struggle in New York and nationwide and according to a report by Farm Credit East, more than 1000 farms in New York could close or shrink by two-thirds if immigration laws were fully enforced.

epi.org

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) says there is little evidence to support the expansion of high-skilled guest worker programs, like those proposed in the immigration bill being debated in the Senate.

The study shows there are more than enough U.S. graduates in the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - to meet industry demand, but only one in two are actually getting hired.

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Small businesses from around the state took their concerns to legislators in Albany Wednesday. The message from leaders in the agricultural industry particularly highlighted the need for reforms to support small farms, and boost local economies upstate.

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