farmworkers

Daniel M. Vasta / RIT

The Green Light Law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses took effect Monday across New York state. It's the first time in 18 years, since a similar law was revoked in 2001.

In Orleans County, three people applied under the new law on its first day in effect. Farmworker Eladio Beltran was one of them.

Beltran came to the U.S. in 2001, when he was 14 years old. He says that he learned how to drive by himself, out in the fields with a tractor, and by watching movies.

“You kind of got pushed to learn the difficult way,” Beltran says.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a farmworkers' rights bill into law Wednesday that will, for the first time, give the workers benefits that other employees get, including time off and overtime pay.

David Sommerstein / NCPR File Photo

A mid-level appeals court has declared that farmworkers have the same right to unionize as all other workers in New York State.

Current U.S. immigration policies pose an economic threat to New York's struggling dairy industry, according to the director of a farmworker program at Cornell University.

Karen DeWitt

Advocates for farm workers  are trying a new route to gain the right to form a union and be allowed benefits afforded to other laborers in New York. They are suing the state government.