Labor Shortages and Climate Crises: Immigrants Impacted in Food Supply Industry

By Giselle Chu


Despite the significant value that immigrant workers bring to the national food supply, they face multiple large obstacles, such as unsafe working conditions and inequalities due to their status as immigrants. The conditions of extreme heat environments and weather-exposed industries put these workers at risk. According to the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), “heat-related illnesses are the leading cause of death for farmworkers, who are 20 percent more likely to die from them than are other workers.” The recent heatwaves this year and this summer only exacerbate the issue of unsafe working conditions, as workers are still expected to perform under increased exposure to wildfire smoke and other dangers.

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