Debbie Hutchinson and Marvin Millington

Recorded August 21, 2021 Archived August 21, 2021 38:07 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby021000


Colleagues Debbie Hutchinson (47) and Marvin Millington (28) discuss the H2 agricultural visa and the opportunity for advancement it provides a whole community back in Jamaica.

Subject Log / Time Code

DH gives context on the legacy of the program of working with migrant workers from Jamaica. She asks MM how he decided to become a farm worker and the experience of having a father who was part of the same migrant workers program.
“What was the hardest part of your entry into the program?” DH asks MM. He gives a picture of a day in the life of a farmer. She asks what he does to connect to others.
“What have you invested in?” DH asks. She also asks him about his access to healthcare.
DH asks MM's opinions about migrant workers being allowed into the United States despite Covid-19 lockdowns.
MM shares some words of wisdom to other young men who are aspiring to be part of this migrant worker program.
MM reflects on what he would change about the program if he could. DH and MM discusses the narrative that migrants are taking local Americans jobs.
MM shares the way this year was harder than others due to flooding rains and diseases.
MM reflects on being part of the legacy of Jamaican community in Hartford.


  • Debbie Hutchinson
  • Marvin Millington

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Partnership Type




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00:01 Good morning. I'm Debbie Hutchinson. I am 47 years old. It's Saturday, August 29th. 2021. I'm in the city of the northern part of the state of Connecticut. And my conversation partner is Marvin Millington. I am his liaison officer. And Marvin is one of the hardest working like what workers at come to your home in the state of Connecticut.

00:33 Hi, I am Marvin Millington. I am 28 years of age.

00:41 Play Starting, August 21st, 2021. I'm in the city of Enfield, Connecticut.

00:49 My conversation, partner, Debbie Hutchinson, and she's my liaison officer.

01:00 Marvin.

01:04 28, you're one of the younger core of Migrant workers on the thousands of Migrant workers that come to Jamaica. This is the story program. We've been doing this for 78 year. Since 1943. We started in World War II developed a program. That was a partnership with the US government. We were one of the only country that responded earlier Leon in the war. The paperwork is here. It's a program that I'm very proud of and I'm proud to be talking to you about your journey into this history program. How did you decide to become a fun with her?

01:51 Well, my daughter has been troubling. I'm just farmer program for like 30 years.

02:00 I'll see what he achieved of heard of some of the stuff that he spoke of here. So I thought it was an opportunity to experience it myself. I'm here. It's a lot of stuff that I've been introduced to have been open. So I learned a lot since I got here and be here, pretty much your father was doing this work before you were born. Let me ask you what month. Were you born in October. So that means your father was not home when you were born or so the interesting thing for us as we talk about is most of our migrant workers. Don't get a chance to see their children being born.

02:53 You must have missed a lot of birthdays with a hard when it's hard being that it go away all the time or someone, you know, you're going to miss him. But then start to look back and say this is the house financially.

03:15 You just have to like, try to cope with it. Still conduct with him, make him comfortable. Did he tell you how he became a part of the body?

03:50 They went deer, just get overnight.

03:55 Do an interview. The following day. This is just like hearing about these opportunities to come to America, to make life better in Jamaica. They did all these sacrifices and they got through at the start of the program from there. So he must have told you how difficult it was.

04:18 Was this a dream for you? Two to join this team of workers coming here or you just happen to decide at some point that you had to do this?

04:31 I always wanted to be a mechanical engineer.

04:36 But then I had like sisters like two years older than me. She had her.

04:45 Expenses of collagen or she truly look like a college first.

04:54 What day does started work and then get a little bit comfortable and starting to earn some money? So, you know, too comfortable. So I kind of like.

05:03 Mechanical engineer up my mind for a minute.

05:09 It's gradually. I heard that like they're selecting guys again. There is renewed like the calling cards back home.

05:21 I want to program. I tried but not didn't work for me, until Why didn't it work? Because like there's like five cards or six cards come to like that area for parts and there's like 500 600 guys trying to get one of the cards. Do you know that like a lot of person for the soul?

05:48 Unfortunately, I wouldn't do them this one and a hundred chances. You make it onto this program opportunity for all the guys who wants to know.

06:05 So then,

06:06 You didn't make it. Did you give up on the dream of being part of his phone up? What happened? How did you land here? I didn't get in trouble with the car.

06:22 The offer came wearing. My dad could take me on to the program because I guess his years of working here to give him an opportunity where you if you want to program on the kids.

06:34 So that's how I got here in.

06:38 I was pretty relieved and happy excited to come and see what's happening here in America job.

06:54 You've always been in Enfield at Belmont. And how many years now. Have you been? Was it completely different from what you heard from a child to, where he died. I don't think many people realize that every year.

07:41 What was the hardest part about your entry into the program?

07:46 Adjusting to like you being away from having to like, basically to everything for yourself. Like you're coming out to like to be your meal. You have to get your stuff, be no like a deer in Plano washing your clothes all that seen what I'm doing. Now days work.

08:07 Coming in tired. Like a lot. What are the hours of work like at? Give us a day in the life of a farm worker?

08:29 I'll say my day started off like around 5:30. So I guess my lunch, my lunch bag.

08:39 Get ready? We have to get.

08:41 Starting working at 7 a.m. There's a break up 9.

08:48 Working till 12 for lunch, half an hour lunch, then we normally work at like 5:30. I'm normal days Sunday to go over. Like if you want to come pick some for today on water at 6:30. Thereabouts want to come in again or like oatmeal?

09:11 If we have clothes to wash,

09:14 How about store and go back to bed and next day all over it?

09:22 Is it isolating to the apartment? Cuz you feel like you're awake but still together. And what is what is that? Like when you sit back a day after work? What what do you do to connect?

09:37 Play. We we have social media.

09:40 I'm coming back home with families, over video chat, live, chat, litoris alarm.

09:55 I'm already here on a joke, like it was saying she would send a letter. I will take him like a week to hear what's happening back home. Cuz I remember one time there was like, a hurricane. Messed up, the whole mailing system. So, I like to longer than they are, not knowing what's happened to their families back home. Jamaica. Should have been devastating to them just like you make a call, and you can see what's happening, but we'll call it a different time. So that makes it easier. Also. I want to answer the phone, my dad being here.

10:39 Allen coming to this same for my flight. I'm already full. It's not like I'm going to wear them around, complete strangers. He's already there to guide me and tell me along the way. I did to me being away from home.

10:58 Migrant workers today.

11:01 I'm going to put you out there. Do you, do you see yourself here at this, that way?

11:09 It's definitely not the most. Get the job done which is required by every employer. Tell you to do. This is rushing you this and that if you're going to like

11:27 Behave, like it don't want to do it stand up on the work and like wasting your time. Musically, you're going to have fruit. You an address it but it's not like you're driving you to do it. Like pushing you behind the bed, do more than what you're doing. Because they basically understand that what you're doing is your best. And that's what mother. Okay. So what do you like about your environment here? How would you rate your employer?

11:58 They're very much welcome. And I don't like my brother. Steve by my father. There are some people I can like go to the beach with just about anything and they won't turn it down there and hear me out in Denver busiest times at. I can't even remember one time Steve's playing on his phone. I'll give you a call. I'm going to be with your situation.

12:35 Is she showing that we appreciate you leaving home come and get your job.

12:45 The general public understands or even appreciate what happens with the agricultural Community. Do you think they really know what's going on with the h-2b program?

13:02 Like first, since he wrote A Treatise, doesn't pay you. Well, and they seems that.

13:12 You guys are not getting enough or that. You are being abused or they don't really know the agricultural program from your Vantage Point. What would you like to say people who have these opinions about the migrant Community is hard work yet, but still

13:42 Fear, this is what we lost 4-0 series work. So it's like

13:50 I would say normal. Did you know what? You were going to be painted before you got here?

14:03 The rate printed on the contract. So we had an idea as to what we're going to get paid.

14:12 Car interior, Peter 1499 before I think Jackson, is Peter over to the IRS. So they all of chicken and you can see how much she has not left her walking around with the lump sum cash on Friday. The 1st Century, you have social security number in taxes.

15:07 Now that you can earn money and you've been running for the last four years. What have you invested in? Where does that money go? But you did.

15:18 I've been aiming towards in my homework, Jamaica, my wife and I eventually or family.

15:32 Definitely try to save because you have to have something set aside for whatever might come set up something wearing.

15:45 Should I stop traveling when I can have that to rely on top of a lion?

16:07 When I 2019,

16:11 Yeah, I did a surge back home in Jamaica last year.

16:18 I got a hernia.

16:22 Public Storage start when I did the surgery here.

16:27 The doctor said,

16:29 The job that they did back home in Jamaica. They could have done it better. So in the end result is that when they went in and did what they had to do.

16:40 It's way better because normally where they had to cut when I did it back in Jamaica. I would feel like a little tender spot. And since I did the second surgery here, it's not like I would even classic better than what they have in Jamaica.

17:05 Now that you have cold baby in terms of vaccinations in terms of heating cooling testing. Where does that support medically their dear? If it's like an immediate situation, the ambulance will come just the same.

17:31 What I mean, it's like,

17:34 Wife is like, we're like citizens living here because we're almost office in like,

17:41 On the benefit all benefits.

17:45 When I look at where we are today, Ellison's of Migrant workers building this economy.

17:55 We knew that last year, covid took her tools. Were you surprised that migrant workers were allowed to come in? Even the countries of clothes and border the coast of France?

18:08 Cuz I'm back in, Jamaica started to hear news that no workers of the traveling because of the cool things.

18:20 I was surprised that they actually let the same when you scared.

18:25 Yeah, there was some fear in the back of my mind. It's it's not like we're coming to like it mix and mingle with the person. You're going to go to the farm with work about to the Canton. Okay?

18:52 It's a huge gap with God, 100 people. What is that? Like?

19:01 Like, I rush hour in the kitchen, in the morning on Sunday is definitely crazy in. The kitchen, is like a Jamaican always wanted to have a separate way. I'm glad you think it's like when you go to the bank and they give you a number, remind me at the store. While if you have to have a number system going in there.

19:53 Being here.

19:56 What's it like on the Jamaica side?

20:00 Where where did you feel? If you had to do this whole program? Where do you feel the support comes from and comes up your family members and chance of your community. How important is this program to the Jamaica side?

20:20 Makes a huge impact because when I get back home, I see you wearing.

20:26 Person that are less fortunate.

20:29 That's truly my heart. I really want to help but couldn't I see ready for G, allow me to assist even if it is not much because I'm in a better position than where I was back in Jamaica. So it'll help me to office them more than what I could become the day. He was

20:56 Buying shoes, like, how much can one person by their community?

21:11 How important is the migrant worker to the development of a community?

21:20 You should have been like we get far from the price, please.

21:25 Any products? I will ship you. The more like I think it's like this Sunday like Christmas.

21:36 Will you buy persons to the church and the packaged among the most?

21:41 Community comes after Christmas.

21:57 We do like preparation of meals.

22:01 I wish it to be coming to just to save. Sometimes we handle the packages on the same day when the one where it should leave you. So if Nicholas is program.

22:17 What was that? Looks like. This program is speeding a lot of persons or other person's head.

22:34 Do you think that?

22:37 We have taken care of the privilege to be a migrant worker. Do they even see it as a privilege to be like,

22:47 Because then you can it helps to personally, it helps me to achieve the things that I've always wanted to be back home.

23:01 In comparison to working gear.

23:05 It would take longer then you how did the cost of living taking back so much from what you work? It's very hard. I don't know if, you know, but every year in the United States to decide who comes

23:24 You get to decide which countries Jamaica has never really lost on this list of countries.

23:36 What would your message be to the aspiring young men who are coming to be a part of this? Or what? Would you want them to know?

23:47 You come here for a reason. Stick to that.

23:52 If you have a plan back, home work or the plan.

23:59 I hear person, say if you come here for women, there's a lot back home in Jamaica.

24:04 So you shouldn't be here, don't work too hard.

24:14 Stay within the laws of the country. Trying not to disobey the laws of the country. Try not to disrespect your co-workers. Try not to disrespect your employers.

24:28 Cuz these opportunities that your grandma and grandpa not to us.

24:33 It isn't making a great Impala home. So just be to do good. Do your breasts.

24:42 Do you think that your contribution here at the phone?

24:50 Do you think that the other workers see you as a leader?

24:54 Alot of them. Do you call me? Dear boss? I guess it's too cold. I do operate around them trying to help him. They always look to me like, solving problems something. That's the reason. Why.

25:19 What are some of the problems that you think are frequently discussed? What does the workers struggle with in the

25:30 Well, I remember 2019. Somebody guys came here. They were like, I can't manage this. I'm going to go, but it's too much like two or three of them until you came here for a reason to work.

25:55 The theatricality motivated to do it.

26:00 Do you know that what you're collecting here? He can do a lot back home in Jamaica for you and your family. So use something to motivate yourself to continue having that drive. That seemed to go out. It doesn't make sense. You come here and try to give up when you're already here. You can do it. You're strong enough to do it. That's what I remember telling the guys and he said he remember when I just got here and I was about to give up on YouTube, go on Saturday, talk to me saying that look, you can do it and look in here and still here. Now. Do you think that you have the support of a Jamaican government?

26:42 Yeah, because even back home. I remember my processing center. They came to us last year with Kobe. 24 weed was like, I was like, thank you notes for stew.

26:58 Call me to go on a program. They were saying it was like, look, friends are still trying to make the spider here that cobras like that.

27:20 They were like really appreciated if you had to change one thing about the servant, what would it be?

27:30 I must say.

27:33 Some of the guys that tries to,

27:37 Bob Beatty charge. You do you win a trip to Five Guys? Putting up with 50? It's going to break up our yard work all together. We can conquer it easier.

28:10 If it was so hard for you to get on.

28:14 And this is such a meaningful program.

28:20 How would you address that? What do you think can be done to create more opportunities for hard-working, young men, who have no opportunity?

28:34 If it's possible in Jamaica, more opportunities, where they can get more young men's here, but there's a lot of hard working men, back home, even in my commute.

28:48 Your life and looking and hoping for a chance.

28:53 But everybody says, there are no jobs. You guys are taking these jobs.

29:00 Local American, you think you're taking the job, What do you think?

29:10 There. I would what I see here in America. There's a lot of job opportunities here. It's not like we're here teaching jobs.

29:23 Because I'm seeing where in a beer is like,

29:29 Large Farms, Steve drama was telling me about this farm. That does like

29:36 Five thousand acres of Sweden, car sold in America. There is like, a lot of job opportunities opportunities here. So I don't see where

29:55 That's the other thing, because

30:02 Eve had some girls from here.

30:08 They work like they don't want to do it, musically.

30:12 They're stopping there to taking a lot of water breaks, and

30:17 Georgia deals work, they probably do from your whores work. So I do mention, I don't think

30:29 It's hard work, putting yourself between the leader, not really hard work. What keeps you going? And they are taking those taken care of. It was nice. Having the with me. What could you do?

30:47 I always tell myself.

30:50 It's a whole team thing.

30:53 If we get this done right for the boss.

30:59 It's not only benefits, the boss also benefit us and then we can look forward to next year because if he's successful this year is going to more thinking of doing it again. Next year. What if he's unsuccessful this year for like the three consecutive years. What's the next thing you going to do? That's why I always try to or who I'm working the drive-thru have them going on.

31:30 Call them go in and do their best is always tell them that we're going on. This trend, we have tobacco. His room is here. We had blood rains, we had diseases.

31:53 Was it harder this year than any other more cultivated? We had to like watering cans. Where do they do know the door and Porter Euro bike walk to the field or do you do the fertilizer to try and feet done? It's about to leave greed because I'm basically break down the the fertilizer that was applied. So we had to reapply fertilizer in order for the plan to to sustain its growth has been agreed on three three, three.

32:32 So it is longer hours.

32:39 I remember one of the field, we have like a couple rolls left. I wanted to finish it. So we have I told you about that. Look I'm trying to convey this to you. So we're just going to push start a new one the other day. Sorry, go ahead and do it.

32:55 We have a strong Jamaican Community. I don't know if you know, but it was thinking Social Club.

33:03 Started back in the forties.

33:06 Celebrating 17 years, you know, these men came as migrant workers, instead of one of the biggest Jamaican Community here in the state of Connecticut.

33:25 What does it feel like to know that you're a part of that Legacy? It's always a good feeling to be a part of that. You actually contribute it as well. So that's what these men have set in place and set in motion and random movement towards a new year. One of the things you struggle with in the outfit without migrant workers.

34:06 How do we ensure that? No one is Left Behind that? They are also moving into a new era, understanding the technology and being a part of the journey.

34:20 I understand you don't understand cuz of the bank accounts and the card ATM machines or the Indians were to do that that the purchases really call it, teach them how to use the car until they're actually using it by themselves. Now. It's basically

34:47 100 yd and taking the time. What do you want to say? What do you want to say to be different groups of people that made this whole thing a popsicle?

35:09 I want to say thank you for

35:13 Even thinking of Spartan this program even considering the fact that off of thinking of Jamaicans here and giving us this opportunity have a couple times earlier. It makes a lot of difference to the drama Family Court by far. The weather for tomorrow. The Elder guy say that I've been to other forms. They're saying that you're a drama. It's like the best.

35:45 I want to thank you guys for that.

35:49 Let's continue to do what you're doing.

35:52 All the best for the years ago.

35:58 Do you think this is a flu? You think this is an object that you work for a grandpa? Or do you think that if people got to know the program there are many reports of any great importance.

36:14 It's just that.

36:18 You just need to get on the program as I say to what is required because like any other employer, if you're not doing what they are required to do.

36:33 So on one hand, as we lie down.

36:37 If you had to look at your entire four years and some wonderful teacher that you might want to send them today, who taught you the most.

36:50 Who supported you the most in difficult times when you needed them. So, you, how about you? Have you have someone.

37:11 Who do you think of all the guys that you work with?

37:17 What's closest to you in difficult times?

37:21 Like a cord was just sharing your story. Can you get a new perspective, there be a change and a perspective of how long and how many generations have come down the line to bless and thank you so much. You're welcome. Thank you, too.