There are some 2.4 million farmworkers in the U.S. Of those, anywhere between 47 and 70 percent are undocumented.
There are no federal guidelines governing what a farmer should do if they don’t have space to quarantine sick workers or how those who may have the virus can access affordable health care services.
“Workers are petrified,” said Armando Elenes, secretary treasurer of the United Farm Workers, the nation’s largest farmworkers union.
The more urgent concern is that if a large number of farmworkers get sick, there will be no one to harvest America’s food.
For decades, the agriculture business has run on cheap labor provided mostly by migrant workers — undocumented or otherwise — from Mexico and Central America.