Temp farmworkers who claim they were mistreated leaving US

SEATTLE - About two dozen temporary farmworkers who claim they were mistreated by a north Washington farm are getting ready to leave for Mexico.

The Seattle Times reports the 25 workers were brought with a group of about 600 to pick blueberries at Sarbanand Farms in Sumas as part of the H-2A visa program. The workers say they were forced to work long hours under hot temperatures and smoky air, were underfed and provided with no medical care. A protest was sparked earlier this month after one farmworker died. Several workers who joined the protest were fired.

Representatives from the farm say the workers were not mistreated.

Lawyers and advocates for the group say the 25 workers will leave this week fearing that they will be blacklisted from the visa program.

© 2017 Associated Press


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