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A Different Side Of Human Trafficking In North Carolina

Migrant workers choose and cut off yellow squash at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA in 2013.
Migrant workers choose and cut off yellow squash at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA in 2013.
Migrant workers choose and cut off yellow squash at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA in 2013.
Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1N7X5iB
Migrant workers choose and cut off yellow squash at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA in 2013.

Legal Aid of North Carolina just released details of a $75,000 settlement involving three labor contractors who recruited 13 workers from Mexico to work in North Carolina through the federal H-2A visa program. Host Frank Stasio talks to Caitlin Ryland, the supervising attorney for the Farmworker Unit at Legal Aid of North Carolina about labor trafficking in our state.

Employers can petition for this visa to hire foreign workers for temporary agricultural work, however these particular workers reportedly experienced illegal pay, constant threats, substandard housing and lack of medical care. The defendants denied liability, but have since received lifelong bans from participating in the H-2A program.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Caitlin Ryland about this case and the larger concerns of labor trafficking in North Carolina. Ryland is the supervising attorney for the Farmworker Unit at Legal Aid of North Carolina.

The toll-free National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.

Copyright 2019 North Carolina Public Radio

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.