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Top cardinal urges US to protect illegal farm workers

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Catholic charity Caritas, pictured during a visit to the Regina Pacis Centre (Our Lady of Peace Church) in Amman, Jordan on May 18, 2014A close ally of Pope Francis has called on the United States to offer short-term work contracts to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants working clandestinely on the country’s farms. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the outgoing head of Catholic charity body Caritas, told AFP the move would help to curb exploitation and was an example of how global migratory pressures could be eased without resorting to either a fortress approach or lifting all controls. Maradiaga said he understood why many young people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador headed to the United States and ended up in a legal limbo that means they are vulnerable to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers. “There are jobs in agriculture in the United States that nobody there wants to do.

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