from your Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Immigration Enforcement and You
Your workers have rights too. The large majority of our year-round workers are documented (90% by estimates from local experts in this issue), however, the effects of a raid are chilling on our workforce, regardless of status. As employers, we should know what their rights are if ICE enters our farms. Workers have the right to remain silent and to speak with a lawyer immediately, regardless of their documentation status. Workers have the right to refuse entry to their house, unless presented with a search warrant signed by a judge. This means they do not have to open the door. Workers should carry their work permits or green cards, when possible. Workers should not carry their passports as ID.
As always, law enforcement officers should be approached with respect. However, the current political climate has made it challenging for agriculture as we depend on immigrant labor. It’s important that we use our voices to support the workforce that picks our coffee, prunes our trees and manages our farms.
We respect that there are many different political views within our community. Where we all agree is that labor is an issue for our farms. KCFA seeks to increase the number of legal farm-workers available to us all while also reducing the climate of fear that interrupts our business activities.
An excellent summary of farm owner rights is here <http://www.nyfb.org/img/topic_pdfs/file_v6e0pkhtyo.pdf>
Additional resources and information for you and your workers are available here <https://www.nilc.org/get-involved/community-education-resources/know-your-rights/>. If you are so inclined, we recommend printing and handing out items to your workers.