Like us on Facebook

Follow Us At: 

Like us on Facebook

Save the date: June 21, 2019, sign up early: 

Fred Milanowski, Ted King and Tom Gillespie chat before start of the 2018 Cup of Justice

Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduces Agriculture Worker Program Act to Shield Farmworkers from Deportation.            

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris 

U.S. Senator Raul Grijalva

Grand Rapids Police called ICE on U.S.-born Marine Veteran, Jilmar Ramos-Gomez. ICE held him for days and nearly

Luisa Bautista dresses up her two daughters, Julia Jasmin Lopez and Luz Esbeidy Lopez, in embroidered garments from their hometown in San Pablo Tijaltepec.
(David Bacon photo)
Michigan Strawberry Workers Shorted Wages
A family of seasonal farmworkers say they were shortchanged by a strawberry grower in Michigan. They had worked for the farm for several summers, but at the end of their last season the family members did not receive their promised bonus, a critical part of their seasonal earnings.   

The family needed the income they had earned in order to meet their basic needs and living expenses, so they contacted Migrant Legal Aid. MLA attorneys investigated the claim and analyzed their hours worked, and in the process discovered numerous minimum wage and AWPA violations. After exhaustive pre-suit attempts to get the farm to pay, MLA had no choice but to file suit. The case is pending in the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan. 
How a Young Girl Overcame Violence 
and Found her Voice
Alana at the January 2019 Women's March in D.C.
Alana came to the U.S. with her undocumented parents when they were very young. The family worked while they lived in the shadows, afraid that people might learn of their family's undocumented status. Alana was eligible for a U-visa because she and her brother had overcome violence and cooperated with authorities. MLA filed and obtained her U-visa status. 

Now, with her new documented status, she feels empowered to have overcome violence in the past and sees a bright future for herself. She is ready to make a positive change for others and be pro-active where she sees injustice.  Alana plans for her voice to be heard, "Once I becomes a US citizen, the thing I'm most looking forward to is voting and running for office."
U.S. Senators Harris and Grijalva Introduce Fairness for Farmworkers Act 
Senators Kamala Harris (CA)and Raúl Grijalva (AZ)  introduced the Fairness to Farmworkers act on February 7, 2019. The Act would The Fairness for Farm Workers Act would gradually require that workers be paid overtime, implementing this over the course of four years. It would bring greater equity to the American agricultural industry. 

In a statement, the lawmakers say that "it's unacceptable" many farm workers live in poverty, adding it's time farm workers "receive the wages they deserve." 

Harris called the legislation "a major step towards economic justice" for farmworkers.

The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act established federal standards for minimum wage and overtime pay, but the law excluded millions of agriculture workers who were overwhelmingly people of color.
Farmworkers gained some minimum wage protections in 1966, but exclusions on overtime persist today. Agnews article

Migrant farmworker advocates support the bill. See Farmworker Justice Statement

Kent County Sheriff to End Detention of Immigrants Absent a Judicial Mandate
After facing criticism from civil rights advocates over the detention of a U.S. citizen and decorated military veteran, the Kent County Sheriff announced Friday the department will no longer hold immigrant detainees for federal immigration officials without a judicial warrant.

Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said she notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday her department will end its practice of holding immigrants for ICE to pick them up after they have been released.   Read more
Migrant Farmworkers Story Told in Photos         
February, 2019 through March 9, 2019 Museum exhibits history of pickers who come north to work in the fields. Photos by David Bacon

Contrary to the belief of many, food doesn't come from Raley's or Safeway.  With oral narratives from the farm workers, this museum exhibit is in English and Spanish, giving the visitors "a reality check on the food they eat and the lives of the people who harvest it. 

"We all have to eat,"Jim Kern, executive director of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum said. "This looks at how food arrives on our table through a process that few people for the most part think about."