What Vermont Farmworkers and Planned Parenthood Have in Common


Terry Allen, formidable journalist, photographer and Vermont citizen, tells The Guardian her personal story of an undocumented farmworker neighbor, who needed medical services. She is part of a volunteer group that helps undocumented immigrants. Carlos, one of 1000-2000 undocumented farmworkers, keeps Vermont's dwindling dairy farms productive.

He lacks a car. He lives a sequestered life, routinely working over 60 hours a week. He and others  like him live out of sight of most of us, but Allen brings Carlos to life. If you think immigration issues have nothing to do with you, read Allen's piece.

Carlos suggested saving time by going to a “doc in a box” at a strip mall, so I drove him to one.

I asked the receptionist about the cost: “$100 for the visit.” As Carlos started taking bills from his wallet, I motioned him to stop. “And for the lab tests?”

he young woman rummaged behind the counter. “Five hundred dollars, so $600 total,” she said with all the animation of one of Carlos’s cows.

“You’re kidding,” I nearly shouted. “For standard lab tests?”
“No way,” I told Carlos, who was probably deeply embarrassed by me. It wasn’t that he couldn’t afford it, but I knew how he sweated for that much money, and how the medical system jacked up prices for the uninsured. 

-- Terry Allen in The Guardian, see link below. 

As for the commonality with Planned Parenthood? Both Carlos and PP live under a cloud of threat. The threat comes from those on a moral high horse, fed by hypocritical haymaking. Allen points out a favorite lie from the billionaires and lovers of billionaires surrounding Trump. "Illegals" pay their fair share of taxes--and unlike wealthy Americans, they don't complain about it either. 

While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump called CNN’s Erin Burnett “naive” for suggesting “illegal immigrants” pay taxes. But nationally, they contribute an estimated $11.64bn a year in just state and local taxes, with at least 50% of undocumented immigrant households filing tax returns, according to the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. 

ermont’s undocumented people pay almost $4m a year in state and local taxes and, at 7.9% of income, contribute slightly more than the effective rate for the top 1% of Americans.

READ MORE HERE: www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/25/undocumented-immigrants-vermont-dairy-industry