¡Sí, se puede!
Ever wonder how you could show your appreciation for our essential farm workers? Tell them they matter with a $5 donation to their safety. Our #FiveForFarmworkers program will ensure that for every $5 donation, one farmworker will receive a COVID-19 Safety Kit designed just for them, with FDA compliant face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves.

Show you care: Donate here
#FiveForFarmworkers turns a $5 donation into a mask, bottle of hand sanitizer, and gloves for a vulnerable farmworker. Share your own photo wearing a mask, post it with hashtag #FiveForFarmworkers
What if this were your job?
From daybreak until sunset, you work shoulder-to-shoulder on an asparagus picker, or, you pick blueberries and stand in line at the central weigh station. Or, you climb up and down a 3-legged ladder all day with heavy sacks of apples, picking in pairs.

What if your assigned housing unit had you living in tight quarters, sharing bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, and bedrooms -sometimes with unrelated people? And what if you relied on carpools or work buses to get you to the fields, where you have had a lifetime of exposure to pesticides?

If so, then you share many of the vulnerabilities to COVID-19 and other perils that migrants face as they harvest our food.

Even the most careful farm operation is vulnerable to an outbreak. During this pandemic, employers should provide farmworkers with face masks and gloves, in addition to the existing requirements to provide soap and water for hand washing, fresh drinking water, single-use drinking cups, and nearby bathrooms/portajohns. But because of COVID-19, not all employers have located enough masks.
In Michigan, we have 94,000 farmworkers and family members, including children and elderly parents. The #FiveForFarmworkers campaign will allow us to send out our current stock of safety supplies while acquiring more through our procurement program. Our COVID-19 Farmworker Safety program began with a small grant from Heart of West Michigan United Way #HWMUW and #SpartanNash

Husdonsville-area egg farm denies allegations of lax safety protocols
Recently, Migrant Legal Aid received complaints from workers at an egg farm near Hudsonville, Michigan regarding safety concerns and COVID-19. The workers asked us to share their concerns with the facility. They said that they are working in close proximity to other workers, many of whom have tested positive; and that they want the company to do extra cleaning and require stricter compliance with face masks, social distancing, and temperature checks.

We shared these concerns with the food operation. The facility reports it is carefully following CDC guidelines, including enhanced cleaning and sanitization. MLA continues to respond to concerns and working conditions within the agricultural food supply chain. WOODTV 8 raised awareness about the situation and the employer's response. Watch here
JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, site of deadly COVID-19 outbreak, reopens
More than 100 of the 6,000 workers at the processing plant have tested positive for COVID-19 and four have died. Weld County health officials say the processor has developed testing and containment strategies.

Cup of Justice 2020 Update
This year's Cup of Justice fundraising event is planned for June 19, 2020 at the Mines Golf Course.

Stay tuned as we monitor the situation with COVID-19. We will make adjustments to the event as needed. Please check our website and our newsletter for updates.
Retired Judge Michael J. Nolan tees off during the 2019 Cup of Justice
Summer Outreach 2020
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Migrant Legal Aid is following Michigan's Executive Orders closely. Because we are a support service for essential workers, our phones and video interviews have increased earlier in the season than usual. Our top priority is to keep staff and farmworkers safe while also providing safety information on Coronavirus, pesticide protections, the census, and other resources available to them. We usually manage to keep in close communication with workers, and are committed to keeping the dialogue open even with current restrictions. Our adaptation to the Coronavirus crises includes new extended office hours, including phone and video consultations through What's app, Facetime, Zoom, googlevoice, texting, and meetups, and increased use of docusign and new remote notary options. Clients will still have instant reliable access to our legal staff and attorneys. Stay up to date on our Facebook, twitter and instagram accounts. And next week, check out our newsletter to meet the new summer interns who will help us ensure justice for farmworkers.
COVID-19 has presented challenges for Michigan's Census efforts. Many field operations have been postponed, making it more difficult for workers and volunteers to make face-to-face contact with residents to ensure an accurate count. However, adjustments are being made accordingly.

Migrant Legal Aid continues to be a Census Assistance Center even while our staff is working from home. If you or someone you know has questions about the Census, call us at (616) 454-5055, or email Mary Bennett at mbennett@migrantlegalaid.org.
Impact of Coronavirus on the Latinx Community in Kent County
As the Coronavirus crisis continues, Kent County and Michigan continue to develop plans to protect residents and increase testing. Some of these plans include expanding access to testing for more vulnerable communities such as the Latinx community and the black community. "Hispanics represent about 10.3% of the county population, but represent 34.8% of COVID-19 cases" ( Source).
"First ICE detainee dies from coronavirus"
"A 57-year-old man from El Salvador became the first person to die from coronavirus while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, a senior immigration official told CNN on Wednesday." Read the full story here.
Harvest of Justice
We are looking forward to our annual Harvest of Justice event. It will take place on September 23, 2020 at The Prince Conference Center featuring special guest speaker Dolores Huerta, Iconic Migrant Farmworker Activist and Founder and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

We are accepting sponsorships, get your table reserved today. Please email mbennett@migrantlegalaid.org to reserve your spot or get more information about our sponsorship opportunities.

Please regularly check our website, social media pages and newsletter for any changes to the event that may be made due to Coronavirus concerns.