Fair Labor Matters
Migrant Legal Aid Helps Children Feel Safer In School
Our attorneys have been helping parents whose children feel threatened by acts and words of hate at school. Our Defending Against Hate program works with the community to combat prejudice and promote tolerance by bringing cultural competency and inclusiveness into learning environments, and by creating safe channels to report acts of hate and harassment to school officials or law enforcement -- especially for undocumented individuals. Schools can learn more about the program by email: office@migrantlegalaid.org or call Mary Bennett at (616) 454-5055.
Migrant Legal Aid Urges City Officials to Reconsider Language in Proposed Human Rights Ordinance.
April 23, 2019 will be the public hearing on the proposed human rights ordinance that targets biased crime reports. It would include pe nalties for violators, including those who dial 911 to try to use police to enforce their own bigotry. MLA expressed grave concerns to the city Community Relations Commission that a poorly drafted ordinance could do more harm than good. Concerns are that the ordinance will reduce crime reporting, not hold police accountable in the same way as residents for bias policing; and could subject crime victims and witnesses to prosecution and civil suits where their description of the suspect (in a protected class) could be used against them. MLA also expressed concerns with the lack of a strong anti-retaliation provision. Read more
Agricultural Worker Program Act (2019) Legalization for Farmworkers
April 3, 2019, Congress heard testimony on a bill that would accomplish two things that are critical for Michigan. The Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2019, also known as the “Blue Card” bill, HR 641, would provide a stable workforce for farms, but also a pathway to citizenship for farm workers and their families, whether they are undocumented or hold an H2A visa -a temporary or seasonal agricultural work permit. It would establish a new type of legal status card: a blue card.

Areli Arteaga, the daughter of two agricultural workers who came to the U.S. from Mexico almost 30 years ago without documents, testified before the House Judiciary Committee, urging Congress to pass The Agricultural Worker Program Act known as the “Blue Card” bill. See Arteaga's testimony here .
How would the Blue Card work?

Step 1: Verify your past work in the fields (at least 100 days in 2 years) and pass a background check.

Step 2: Receive a work permit and protection from deportation, including members of your family.

Continue working in the fields for either:
100 days/year for 5 years, or 150 days/year for 3 years.

Step 3. Apply for Legal permanent residency

Step 4. Complete the requirements for citizenship.
Hungry? Panera Bread Invites You to a Fundraiser for Migrant Legal Aid :
Have Dinner next Thursday, May 2 between 4-8 PM at Panera Bread (Celebration Drive). We will receive 20% of all pre-tax sales. YOU MUST SHOW THE FLYER PICTURED HERE WHEN ORDERING! You can use an electronic version.
Pulitzer Prize Winning Article by Hannah Dreier
The Betrayal of Triste.
Henry thought that talking to the cops would help him escape MS-13. Instead, it put his life in even more danger. He told police all about his gang, MS-13. In return, he was slated for deportation and marked for death. If Henry is killed, his death can be traced to a quiet... Read more
photo credit: Rapid Growth Media
Cesar Chavez's Birthday Honored
March 31, 2019, on Cesar Chavez's birthday, marchers around the country came out to support justice for farmworkers, just days before Congress heard testimony on the 2019 bill that would give a "Blue Card" to farmworkers wanting to legalize. See the Grand Rapids, Michigan march here

The Cindy Silva Memorial
Cup of Justice June 21, 2019
June 21, 2019, The Mines Golf Course will host The 15th Annual Cindy Silva Memorial Cup of Justice , raising money to continue her life's passion to protect migrant workers. This year, you'll be able to bid on exotic vacations and adrenaline-driven adventures among the items donated to the silent auction. To sponser or play click here
Motel Six to Pay $12 Million After Improperly Giving Guest List to ICE
The hotel chain Motel 6 has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the state of Washington after several locations gave information on thousands of guests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement without warrants. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday that Motel 6 shared the information of about 80,000 guests in the state from 2015 to 2017.
That led to targeted investigations of guests with Latino-sounding names... Read more