I traveled down to Moultrie and Thomasville, Ga., a few weeks back to help illustrate an investigative story for BuzzFeed News about the H-2 guest worker program. My assignment was to photograph a few people who had agricultural jobs and were fired for cheaper, immigrant labor. Agriculture is a huge economic engine for this part of the state, and BuzzFeed claims that the government and businesses here, and elsewhere around the country, have purposefully sought immigrants over Americans in order to save money.
According to BuzzFeed: “… Based on Labor Department records, court filings, more than 100 interviews, inspector general reports, and analyses of state and federal data, (BuzzFeed) has found that many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to skirt the law, deliberately denying jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers on H-2 visas instead.”
Pictured above is Cheryl Breland in her Thomasville, Ga., home. Below is Derek Davis (on his front porch) and Derrick Green (against blue wall). All were let go from their positions with Hamilton Growers. I also tried to capture the feel of this area, so I wandered around downtown Moultrie and Thomasville, as well as the countryside, for a bit. It is a familiar place … I got my start in journalism at The Moultrie Observer in 2001 as a general assignment reporter.