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Large-scale immigration raids at workplaces, not an uncommon occurrence at meatpacking plants, are no longer part of the Department of Homeland Security's strategy, the agency said Tuesday.

The Biden administration "said it is planning a new enforcement strategy to more effectively target employers who pay substandard wages and engage in exploitative labor practices,


 Nick Miroff of The Washington Post. "Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s


ordered a review of enforcement policies and gave immigration officials 60 days to devise proposals to better protect workers who report on their bosses from facing deportation."

Miroff notes, "Immigrant advocates and many Democrats who oppose the raids say they punish vulnerable workers, sow fear in immigrant communities and rarely result in consequences for employers. . . . Worksite enforcement practices have flip-flopped between Republican and Democratic administrations over the years. In 2019, the Trump administration

swept up

680 workers at seven poultry and other food processing plants in Mississippi, the largest single-state immigration enforcement action in U.S. history. Four managers were later indicted."

According to Mayorkas' memo, "the department’s shift in focus to employers will reduce the demand for illegal labor by delivering stiffer consequences for companies and managers while making it easier for workers to step forward and denounce exploitation," Miroff reports.

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Here's a roundup of stories with rural resonance; if you do or see similar work that should be shared on The Rural Blog, email

A pastor's new book challenges readers to change the way they think about rural churches: "Look at the assets of rural churches and encourage congregations to build on them on their own terms, not on the terms imposed by others." Read more here.

Prison populations have long been used to artificially bump up rural population counts (which increases their political power and sometimes brings in more state and federal spending). Before the 2020 census, only two states (Maryland and New York) outlawed the practice. But now seven other states have joined them. That could have big implications as state legislatures begin redrawing political maps. Read more here.

A new fall foliage prediction map will help you plan your leaf-peeping. Read more here.

"It's been a slow death": Guests on CBS's "60 Minutes" describe cutting ties with parents and siblings over QAnon conspiracy theories. Read more here.

Meatpacking plants have long relied on immigrant labor. Now, some are turning to foreign workers with visas. Read more here.

From his porch in rural Missouri, a Congressional aide is helping interpreters escape Afghanistan. Read more here.

The Agriculture Department is giving up to $200 million in pandemic assistance to timber harvesters and haulers. Read more here.

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The next farm bill, due in 2023, was the main topic of discussion at the ag policy panel at Farmfest in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, Aug. 3.

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Climate change, trade and environmental regulations are three areas where a change in the White House could affect agriculture, according to political analyst Mary Kay Thatcher.

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Climate change, trade and environmental regulations are three areas where a change in the White House could affect agriculture, according to political analyst Mary Kay Thatcher.

Immigrants and advocates flooded the halls of the state Capitol on Thursday urging lawmakers to support a provision in Gov. Tony Evers' budget that would allow people living in Wisconsin illegally to obtain driver's licenses and identification cards. 

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President Donald Trump announced a deal to reopen the government for three weeks, ending a 35-day partial shutdown without securing any of the…

President Donald Trump makes case for border wall and trade negotiations in address to attendees of the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention.

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