Immigrants and the Community: Farmworkers with Families
Parra, Pilar A.; Pfeffer, Max J.
America's hired farm workforce has changed considerably in the last decade. The most apparent change has been its "latinization" during the past two decades. This is largely a consequence of large numbers of Mexicans coming to the United States to work. Although Mexican immigrants work in numerous industries across the American landscape, they are especially important in agriculture. There has been a growing tendency of farmworkers to settle in rural communities together with their immediate family. But how and to what extent does community integration occur? How do foreigners who have little familiarity with American culture become integrated into the community? Answers to these questions have practical importance to farmers interested in retaining their workforce, service providers working to improve farmworker well-being and communities interested in helping the new residents contribute to community development. To help us understand the factors that both promote and limit the integration of immigrants into rural communities, we chose for study five New York agricultural communities in different economic and social contexts that have relied heavily on hired farm labor. Each community has a minority population of some significance and a history of immigrant farmworkers settling there.
Second in a series based on the research project ?Integrating the Needs of Immigrant Workers and Rural Communities,? which attempts to inform New York communities about the nature and consequences of increasing immigrant settlement.
Immigrant workers; Rural communities; Farmworkers; Latino immigrants; Agricultural workforce; New York State; Immigrant social integration; Immigrant economic integration; Language proficiency
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