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MLA joins Earth Justice's call for ban on Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide that originates from nerve gases the Nazis developed during World War II. Chlorpyrifos continues to do harm to farmworkers, depite use of personal protective equipment. According to the EPA, 10,000-20,000 physician-diagnosed pesticide poisonings occur each year among the approximately 2 million U.S. agricultural workers. However, many more pesticide poisonings go unreported. Take Action
MLA and MDARD's Pesticide Education Workshop on New Worker Protection Standards a Success!
On Sept 21st in Lansing MI, Migrant Legal Aid hosted a Regional training on the new Worker Protection Standards along with Donald Baumgartner (EPA) and Antonio Castro (MDARD). Advocates and state pesticide experts from five states received their training on the EPA's new worker protection standards. Legal advocates connected with their state lead agency personnel to strengthen relationships and collaboration.  Groups learned how best to improve the identifying, reporting, and complaint processing of pesticide dangers and exposures within each state. Attendees received completion certificates from EPA Region 5 Farmworker Advocate WPS Training.  MLA and MDARD will continue to seek funding to conduct pesticide trainings throughout the state as the new worker protections standards roll out.

  MLA Meets with House of Reps re: Drivers Licenses and State IDs for Undocumented Farmworkers
Migrant Legal Aid met with House reps re: drivers license and State IDs for undocumented or under documented drivers. Ben Ohearn, Rep Stephanie Chang, Paul Stankewitz, Rep Winnie Brinks, Teresa Hendricks. Thank you to Rep Pagel for his cosponsorship, and to Reps Kesto, and Bumstead for your input!

MLA attends September 20th Press Conference to support Driver's License (HB 5940 ) and State ID ( HB 5491)Bills
Bi-partisan legislation was introduced that would allow undocumented and underdocumented farmworkers to obtain a driver's license.  Thanks to Rep. Stephanie Chang (Sponsor) and Rep. Pagel (Co-sponsor) for your leaderhship   As migrant service providers know, not having a driver's license puts parents and families with undocumented members at risk for merely driving to work, school, church, store, or medical clinic.  And as police officers know, driver's licenses are useful for safety and enforcement. Link Aids Workers' Access to Make Complaints
Director of Operations, Julia Coburn, led a  workshop on CDM's at their Annual Staff Development Conference of the Florida Department of Education Farmworker Career Development and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Outreach Program.  The link is a valuable tool to protect H2A and non H2A workers' rights, and provides easy bilingual access to information about H-2A jobs. MLA is sharing the link widely with migrant workers, clients and migrant service providers.
MLA Fights Discriminatory Zoning
Migrant Legal Aid was alerted to an alarming zoning ordinance in Lapeer County (township of Mayfield) that would have required landowners to keep citizenship records for people living in migrant farmworker housing. Benjamin O'Hearn from MLA attended a public hearing on the issue on September 6, 2016. MLA argued against this requirement based on the fact that it exceeded the Michigan Zoning Authorization Act, that it was an arbitrary requirement, and that it was potentially a violation of equal protection under the United States Constitution. The township decided to amend the proposed ordinance to eliminate the requirement to keep citizenship records.
Around 3800 temporary, imported guestworkers were brought in to harvest food this year in Michigan. Retailers and Restaurants often tout their produce is "locally sourced." However, MLA believes it's not "local" when employers truck thousands of single male foreigners here to pick produce, and tell the families who have been harvesting for generations that they've been replaced. Immigration reform, not guestworkers, is the answer.  Ask you retailer or favorite restaurant if they can assure the labor is local, and invite them to join the Michigan Fair Food Project by taking the pledge. Contact Teresa Hendricks (616) 454-5055 
Suit alleges order by Texas judge not binding in NY, president's program should proceed.  Migrant Advocates are hopeful that this case, brought by a couageouse Plaintiff in New York,  will succeed to overcome the obstacles of the Texas v. United States preliminary injunction blocking deferred action for parents of Americans and expanded deferred action for childhood arrivals. 
Heads Up!  Would you like to be involved in Strategic Planning at Migrant Legal Aid?  Contact Cindy Silva for details.
MLA is dedicated to defending and preserving farmworker jobs, dignity, health, income, and legal rights.  
Teresa Hendricks
Migrant Legal Aid
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