¡Sí, se puede!
Protecting Families from Poverty
Class Action Settlement Pays Migrants Early
Nearly 100 families will receive their remaining settlement payments early. A class action case filed by Migrant Legal Aid for allegations of wage theft and non-compliant working conditions resulted in a multi-year settlement with the defendant. But with defendant agreeing to pay the entire settlement amount early, families will be receiving more than double their scheduled payments this season.
Reaching for Justice to Ensure Safe Housing
Sometimes gathering evidence for your clients takes two.Our outreach worker team visits migrant housing units to document conditions and meet with workers. We also check the status of the housing's license, and photograph it. In this case, Yesenia and Jenn were not deterred by a labor housing license posted too high. We share licensing problems with our state inspectors who can take enforcement action. Michigan agriculture employs a substantial number of migrant farm workers in planting, cultivating, harvesting, and packaging of the many labor-intensive crops grown here. Good housing is essential for the health and safety of our farmworkers. Migrant housing exists throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, at approximately 900 licensed housing sites for 25,000 persons.
VOICES at Migrant Legal Aid
VOICES conversations, thanks to WKTV, documents the stories of individuals in our community. Migrant Legal Aid helps ensure that VOICES includes our whole community, like these clients with a farmworker background, whom we interviewed this month. You can listen to the first story here in Spanish, of a wonderful woman and matriarch of her family. And listen to another young Latina who shares her experiences with our Board Member, attorney Diana Lampheire here
Win-Win for Potato Workers
Migrant Legal Aid Board members, attorneys Mark Hanisch and Steve Barry, meet with potato workers, whose wages were stolen and recovered by MLA attorney Ben O'Hearn (pictured in background). Mr. O'Hearn recovered the unpaid wages, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages for our clients. This case is an example of how direct attorney representation can assure quick resolution to claims that might otherwise be ignored or under-prosecuted by a government agency.
Migrant Legal Aid's Fair Food Pledge leverages stores’ buying power to protect farm workers
There are an estimated 50,000 migrant workers who work on Michigan farms that supply food to stores and restaurants.
The conditions at these farms are monitored by groups like West Michigan’s Migrant Legal Aid, which is now turning to the state’s largest retailers for help in the fight for fairness.
“We have found that the power of the purse can be much more economical than a lawsuit in a class-action, where you might have $90,000 in attorney hours just on one case,” said Teresa Hendricks-Pitsch, executive director of  Migrant Legal Aid  in Grand Rapids.
Michigan Gov. appears to support driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants
L ANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says its important that everyone in Michigan has the chance to have a license.

“We need to ensure that everyone’s got a path to getting a license, so they’ve got identification,” Whitmer, a Democrat, said in a video released by the group Movimiento Cosecha after an organizer for the group asked her if she favored issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
“That’s something that’s important to me, it’s important to our economy, and it’s important to the people of Michigan. To see her interview Click here.
New Public Charge rule may take effect for legal immigrants October 15, 2019
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center provides a summary of the main provisions related to a new rule on public benefits for legal immigrants, on its public charge page . Many immigrant families will remain eligible for needed services and will not be legally impacted by changes to the public charge rule. Here are core messages you can share with community members to help combat the chilling effect this rule may have. Opponents of the rule say it establishes a Wealth Privilege for rich immigrants.