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“Ghost” Farm Workers

Touch the Soil News #431 Sarah Horton, a University of Colorado Professor of Anthropology, just finished a 10-year study on migrant labor in California. The work was published in the July issue of the Anthropology of Work Review. Horton’s work focused on migrant workers in California’s Central Valley – the fruit and vegetable basket of America. So what is a ghost worker? It is an illegal immigrant who is working using someone else’s legal documentation, often supplied by and encouraged by the farm owner/employer. Farm workers call this practice, which renders them invisible to state and federal governments, “working as a ghost.” Horton’s work revealed that unscrupulous employers who provide…

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