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Migrant Oregon weed workers face threats amid illegal boom

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 18:50:05-04

Thousands of immigrants working on illegal marijuana farms in southern Oregon that authorities say are run by foreign cartels are living in squalid conditions and are sometimes being cheated by their gangland bosses.

The situation is so extreme in the rural region amid an increase in violent crime and water thefts by the illegal operations affecting legitimate farmers that two counties declared a state of emergency last month and a third is set to do so also.

The marijuana harvest season is ending in the region but officials say some illegal farm operators are refusing to pay workers or have threatened to harm them or their relatives.