My name is Rufina. I came to the United States in 1993 to be a farmworker. I have picked oranges, cucumbers, apples and tomatoes. Before I settled in Ohio, my family and I used to migrate from Florida to Ohio, then to Michigan. Life was hard when we used to migrate. We were always scrambling to find another job, and to have enough to get by.
I have been living in Ohio for ten years now. I have worked for Hirzel Farms that whole time. The job stability is very good. Even with the advancements of machines in farming, farmers always need farmworkers. They depend on us to pick the best produce. The issue with the work is that it is hard, and we are working under the sun all day.
I live in Fremont, and even though I feel part of the community, I still feel racism and discrimination. There are not that many immigrants living here. Some people don't understand us or our work so they mistreat us. This has happened in different ways. For example, we've been treated differently than other people who rent from the same landlord. I wish that we were treated equally and that I wasn’t judged for the color of my skin or the language I speak. In the future, I wish that I could travel back to Mexico easier. I miss my family.
Mi nombre es Rufina. Vine a los Estados Unidos en 1993 para ser trabajadora agrícola. He cosechado naranjas, pepinos, manzanas y tomates. Antes de vivir en Ohio, mi familia y yo migrábamos de Florida a Ohio, y luego a Michigan. La vida era dura cuando migrábamos. Siempre estábamos luchando por encontrar otro trabajo, y por tener lo suficiente para arreglárnoslas.
He estado viviendo en Ohio por diez años. He trabajado para Hirzel Farms todo ese tiempo. La estabilidad laboral es muy buena. Incluso con los avances de las máquinas en la agricultura, los rancheros siempre necesitan a los trabajadores agrícolas. Dependen de nosotros para elegir los mejores productos. El problema con el trabajo es que es duro, y estamos trabajando bajo el sol todo el día.
Vivo en Fremont y aunque me siento parte de la comunidad, sigo sintiendo racismo y discriminación. No hay muchos inmigrantes viviendo aquí. Algunas personas no nos entienden ni a nosotros ni a nuestro trabajo, por eso nos maltratan. Esto ha sucedido de diferentes formas. Por ejemplo, nos han tratado de manera diferente a otras personas que alquilan al mismo propietario. Ojalá nos trataran por igual y no me juzgaran por el color de mi piel o el idioma que hablo. En el futuro, desearía poder viajar de regreso a México más fácilmente. Extraño a mi familia.
There are migrant women who move across international borders, state and county lines to work along the food supply chain and provide for their families. Some of these migrant women are among the 2.1 million immigrant community members who work in jobs growing, harvesting, processing, and selling food in the US, serving an essential role.
Despite the fact that they were named "essential workers" by government officials of all political backgrounds, companies and consumers during the global pandemic, many of these community members are denied basic rights and face unimaginable challenges. They are also often invisible to the people and the communities where they work and live.
Add your voice to the growing list of people calling on Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals who worked in essential sectors during the pandemic. Call on Congress to support the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act.