Mexican Immigrants

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In a dimly-lit lab on the Des Moines, Iowa, public schools’ agricultural science campus, students in aprons, safety goggles and plastic gloves poke and probe chicken wings. About 15 girls and just one boy in this vet careers class are looking for ligaments, tendons, cartilage and other features of this animal part that teenagers more often experience cooked and covered in barbecue sauce.

A 17-year old senior, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail for the dissection, high-fives her lab partner when they identify the ligament and show it to their teacher. This young woman is a chapter officer in the Des Moines FFA group and recently got elected to a district-wide leadership position. She’s already earned a full scholarship to Iowa State University and aspires to be a large animal veterinarian with her own small cattle herd.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Bear Creek Dairy in Brooklyn, Iowa, is home to more than 1,100 cows, who provide about 100,000 pounds of milk each day. The 15-year-old farmer who works closely with the farm’s calves comes from a long line of dairymen – in Europe.

Five years ago, Teun Boelen’s parents sold their farm in the Netherlands and bought a dairy in southeast Iowa because, as his mother explains it, there was no room for their old farm to grow.  

CBP Photography

Texas has one of the largest populations of “unauthorized” immigrants in the nation, and it is the only state that didn’t have a significant drop as did California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York according to data Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project. 

Immigration Reform: Up Close and Personal in SW Kansas

Aug 12, 2013
Fernando Salaza / The Wichita Eagle

People value hard work in SW Kansas.  In an area where the unemployment rate is significantly below the national average, workers are needed.  The Wichita Eagle gave a glimpse into the struggles of being an immigrant.   

Garden City has prospered by the labor, customs, and culture of hardworking immigrants from Old Mexico.