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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse H-2 Worker for shows how the
Unregulated Free Enterprise System allowed for the exploitation
of Caribbean laborers by the Florida sugar industry, and how
the exploitation continues in other industries today.

H-2 Worker

H-2 Worker (1990) - 70 minutes
H-2 Worker at Amazon.com

A Film by Stephanie Black, the Director of Life and Debt

Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festive, H-2 Worker reveals the systematic exploitation of Caribbean laborers by the Florida sugar industry from World War II through the 1990s. Each year more than 10,000 foreign workers were granted temporary guest worker ("H-2") visas to spend six brutal months cutting sugar cane near Lake Okeechobee. They were housed in overcrowded barracks, denied adequate treatment for frequent on-the-job injuries, and paid less than minimum wage. Faced with deportation and soaring unemployment in their home countries, workers had little recourse but to silently accept these deplorable conditions.

Clandestinely filmed in the cane fields and around the workers' barracks, H-2 Worker exposes this travesty of justice, which remained a well-kept secret for decades.

Originally released in 1990, today H-2 Worker provides an invaluable resource to understand current debate over guest worker provisions of immigration legislation. While Florida's sugar cane cutters have been replaced by mechanical harvesters, guest work programs have expanded in agriculture, hotel, restaurant, forestry, and other industries. H-2 Worker illuminates how our foreign worker program continues to benefit employers at the expense of vulnerable, underpaid workers.


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H-2 Worker

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse H-2 Worker for shows how the
Unregulated Free Enterprise System allowed for the exploitation
of Caribbean laborers by the Florida sugar industry, and how
the exploitation continues in other industries today.