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Into Protecting Florida Farmworkers

Florida farmworkers are pushing for better protections against coronavirus. The nation’s food supply – and their lives – are on the line.

About this episode:

The state of Florida is seeing record highs of coronavirus cases as the pandemic stretches into its fifth month. More than 140,000 residents have tested positive for the virus and the state is reversing some of its efforts to reopen the economy.

For weeks, Governor Ron DeSantis resisted statewide closures and social distancing while the rural community of Immokalee raised concerns about the virus and requested more testing and PPE.

Immokalee is home to thousands of migrant farmworkers, some whom are undocumented or on temporary guest worker visas. During the pandemic they’ve been deemed “essential” by the federal government. Now, Immokalee has the highest number of cases of any zip code in the state of Florida.

Host Trymaine Lee talks to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers about their efforts to protect farmworkers in Florida and beyond, as the agricultural season shifts and the nation’s food supply is threatened. Gerardo Reyes Chávez is a leader of CIW who spent many years as a farmworker in Mexico and Florida, starting when he was 11. Greg Asbed co-founded the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in 1993.

Find the transcript here.

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