As wildfires continue to tear across Northern California, killing more than 11 people and forcing evacuations, much has been written about the damage to the area’s wine industry, located in Sonoma and Napa counties. However Napa is also home to tens of thousands of immigrants who work in nearby vineyards and in the wine country service industry — are they’re at risk of losing their homes, jobs and safety nets to the wildfires. According to Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at the Migration Policy Institute, Napa County had some 33,000 immigrants in 2015, which made up about 23% of the county’s population. “I don’t think most people realize that, like the rest of California, [Napa County] has a large immigrant population,” Capps told Mic on Tuesday.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.