In 2018, Diego and Mario joined the U.S. government-sponsored H-2A visa program, leaving their families in their home country of Mexico to harvest blueberries at a farm in North Carolina for six months. They had no idea they were about to become victims of human trafficking and that their lives would be derailed forever.
Links to all stories below.
The work of Futuro Investigates is made possible by the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Tow Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Michelle Mercer and Bruce Golden, and Hispanics in Philanthropy.
In May 2018, Diego & Mario, two farm workers who had entered the U.S. with H-2A visas, escaped their employer. Why? The first in our two part investigation, Head Down.
Human trafficking or a guest worker program? H-2A’s systemic issues result in ratastrophic violations
An 18-month investigation by Prism, Futuro Investigates, and Latino USA
In the last episode of our two-part investigative special “Head Down,” we uncover millions of dollars owed to foreign agricultural workers that are kept by the U.S. government; we examine the racist roots of the H-2A program, and share the story of a massive firing at a U.S. farm with unseen consequences. Lastly, we ask: if the H-2A program is largely set up to fail, why is the Biden administration planning to expand it?
Put your head down, work, don’t complain: What I learned from investigating temporary foreign fork in the U.S.
After reporting on the temporary foreign farmworker program for years and seeing the inaction from those with power to fix its flaws, what really stays with me are the stories of workers met along the way.
In the summer of 2022, I traveled from New York to a town in the south-central United States to spend a few days with two friends and interview them about their nefarious experiences as part of the H-2A migrant worker visa program. In 2018, they survived abuse and irregularities. Now, they have managed to make a dignified life for themselves and their families and have decided to speak up.
He was recruited in Mexico to work in the U.S. for six months. He hasn’t seen fis Family in five years
Some migrants who travel to the United States from Mexico to work as farm workers are abused and exploited after obtaining H-2A visas. This is the story of how one of these families has dealt with trauma and separation.