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Mea CulpaLessons on Law and Regret from U.S. History$
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Steven W. Bender

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899623

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899623.001.0001

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date: 30 May 2020

Beasts of Burden

Beasts of Burden

Farmworkers in the U.S. Field of Dreams

(p.59) 4 Beasts of Burden
Mea Culpa

Steven W. Bender

NYU Press

Chapter 4 details the abuses of U.S. farmworkers, who increasingly are undocumented Mexican immigrants. Farmworkers are dehumanized and invisible in the production of our food supply and remain among the most vulnerable of our workers; they are engaged in dangerous and difficult work with scant financial reward. Longstanding economic justifications rooted in the necessity of having an affordable and uninterrupted food supply also underlie our oppressive treatment of farmworkers; these justifications are grounded in the mistaken assumption that to supply a living wage would imperil the health of other U.S. residents who might no longer be able to afford their grocery bill. After detailing the history of abuses of farmworkers, the chapter articulates the different working terms and conditions we might supply if we valued the humanity of farmworkers.

Keywords:   farmworkers, Mexican immigrants, living wage

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