Iowa Public Television


Migrant Farmworkers Idled By Hurricane Wilma

posted on November 11, 2005

Migrant farmworkers in Florida who can't afford to miss even a week's pay may face unemployment for up to four months because of Hurricane Wilma, advocates say.

Tirso Moreno of the Farmworkers Association of Florida says migrant workers face difficult circumstances because so many are undocumented.

"They don't have much savings. Unemployment, food stamps ... they will not be qualified," Moreno said.

It's not clear what state lawmakers can do to help such workers because a federal law makes them ineligible for most types of benefits. But Moreno said he hoped legislators would encourage changes in federal law, and in the meantime try to figure out ways the state can help.

Tags: agriculture hurricanes immigration jobs news storms weather