Illegal workers response

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Muriel Potter's letter, Illegal Workers. The letter refers to Senate Bill 238 which would create a way for those without Social Security numbers to get driver's licenses. This bill addresses a real problem for an important part of the Vermont population. Migrant workers are a vital part of Vermont's economy, especially in the dairy industry. The claim that by sending parts of their income to families in other countries hurts the U.S. economy is erroneous because many farms would be unable to function without these people's work. As Phyllis Bowdish, a dairy farmer in Weybridge puts it, "Migrant farm workers in Vermont deserve to be recognized for their contribution to Vermont agriculture."

Currently many of these workers are trapped on farms because of fear of leaving without identification. Others are already driving for work or the challenges of living rurally. This would create a path for workers to take a test, understand the rules of the road, and get insurance, making the roads safer for everyone.

I support not only this bill, but all the human rights of migrant workers in Vermont. As a state we have a long way to go to realizing that we all depend on each other in ways we cannot see or understand. That is why on May 1, thousands of people are coming to Montpelier for the Put People First March and Rally for One Movement for People and the Planet. Not only is it a way for us to make sure our own needs are taken care of, it also shows us we all are struggling for the same things.


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