¡Sí, se puede!
Good Food = Fair Food
Language Barriers Prevent Non-English Speakers in Michigan From Accessing Basic Resources
Last month, we shared a story about Governor Whitmer's support for undocumented immigrants' rights to get a driver's license. However, there are still barriers to getting a license for non-English speaking immigrants and residents in Michigan.

What Every Driver Must Know is a free booklet available to Michiganders to help them prepare for the written portion of the Michigan driving test. 23 years ago, there was a Spanish-language version available in print. However, a Spanish-language booklet is no longer updated or provided by the Secretary of State. While the final written test is available in various languages (and can be read aloud to the test-taker in their preferred language) there are still many non-English speakers who need the booklet to prepare for the test.

We contacted the Michigan Secretary of State's office to find out if they had the booklet, or a similar resource, in Spanish. We were told there are none, and then the office suggested we have someone translate the booklet for the test taker. Michiganders come from a variety of backgrounds and speak many different languages. If Michigan is serious about keeping our roads safe and helping people with limited English Proficiency (LEP) the SOS should make it easier to access resources in other languages. click here to share your opinion with our SOS as we continue our advocacy for language access
State Agency Calls Bedbugs at Migrant Camps a "Common Problem"
This summer, our outreach staff worked hard to visit camps and make sure that the farm workers were being treated well by their employers. During one of their last visits in August, they found several camps that showed signs of bedbug infestations. Lots of empty cans of bedbug spray, mattresses thrown out or perched above clothes lines. When we spoke to the workers living at those camps, they confirmed that some of the units had bedbugs. We reported infestation to the corresponding state agency, so they could do an inspection and collaborate with the employer to rectify the situation. However, the response we received from the agency was lackluster, “Bedbugs are not an uncommon problem in Migrant Labor Housing." Still, the agency agreed to assign it to an inspector. Unfortunately, it is true that bedbugs are common in Migrant Labor Housing locations, but we believe that stricter enforcement will reduce the health hazard bedbugs pose to our migrant population. This is our priority. Workers change housing units frequently as they follow the crops, often having moved on by the time an inspector can respond.

Currently, Michigan has five Migrant Labor Housing inspectors for the entire state. With about 900 registered camps in the lower peninsula, 4,000 living units, and a capacity for about 23,000 people. With frequent bedbug and rodent infestations, the safety of our state's migrant workers is at risk. More resources are necessary for our state to be able to adequately monitor the conditions of Migrant Labor Housing. Join us in contacting your Michigan Representative to share your concern for the safety of our migrant workers.
End of Summer Outreach
August 29th marked our last official day of Summer outreach. Below are some of our favorite moments from this summer. The info-graphic demonstrates just how important our outreach visits are. We are able to make face-to-face contact with a population of workers that are vulnerable to abuse, and do not have time or resources to seek out traditional legal help. Outreach allows us to let them know we are here to help!
Harvest of Justice
On September 26th, we are hosting our annual Harvest of Justice event. We'd love to see you there, so you can learn about our organization.

Please see the link below and email Mary Bennett to RSVP by Wednesday, September 18th. While there is no charge for this event, we do hope you feel compelled to financially support our mission.

Kent County Farms Visit
Migrant Legal Aid and County Commissioners visited Kent County farms at the end of August to learn about West Michigan's agriculture business and see first-hand how hard the harvesters work to bring us food.
Pickle fields at Heffron Farms in Belding, Michigan
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trump's "Asylum Ban"
On Wednesday, September 11th. The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration may continue enforcing its new, restrictive asylum policy until a final legal decision is made.

The new policy would allow the Trump administration to drastically limit who is able to submit asylum applications in the United States by barring any asylum seekers who traveled through another country on their way to the United States from applying for asylum.