A worker counts his chips at pay day. Each chip represents a basket collected from the harvest, and is exchanged for tickets, which in turn represent one dollar each.
Rural Sampson County in central North Carolina is one of America's bread baskets. During the summer months, when the vegetable and tobacco crops need to be harvested, thousands of undocumented migrant farm workers from Mexico and Central America arrive to labor in the fields. They live in primitive and isolated work camps, and if the weather allows, work six days a week, often 14 hours a day, for very little pay, picking beans, eggplants, and peppers.
It is estimated that there are between 15 and 20 million illegal immigrants working in America. While Sampson County is a Republican Party stronghold, the growers know the reality-if immigration laws are actually enforced, the crops will rot in the fields until someone else can be found to work as hard as the "illegal" immigrants.