Times get Tougher for Migrants, Kids


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Thank you!   Si se pudo!
Muchisimas gracias
to all of you who helped blueberry pickers send in claim forms to us by deadline. We had a great response and with the court's final approval, class members could expect to get $1500 per season, per worker. Plus, thousands more will go to the class representatives for their extra service. We especially thank and recognize Yolanda Garrido, whose exceptional bravery during an intimidating process made it possible for hundreds just like her to seek justice.
The Five-Year old Who Signed Away her Rights While Detained at the Border 

Left, a photo of Helen taken during her time in custody

In July, Helen fled Honduras with her grandmother, Noehmi, and several other relatives; gangs had threatened Noehmi's teen-age son, Christian, and the family no longer felt safe.Christian was taken from Noehmi and placed in a cage with toddlers... Read more
AP Investigation: Deported parents may lose kids to adoption
 "They want to steal my daughter!"

It had been 10 weeks since Ramos had last held her 2-year-old, Alexa. Ten weeks since she was arrested crossing the border into Texas and U.S. immigration authorities seized her daughter and told her she would never see the girl again.  Read more 
2018 Human Trafficking Conference

Oct 3-4, 2018, Gov. Snyder welcomed delegates to the 4th annual two-day conference  Human Trafficking: Invisible
at Saginaw Valley State University. Attorney Ben O-Hearn of Migrant Legal Aid served as a keynote speaker for the conference hosted by the Michigan Human Trafficking Taskforce & Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. His address Trafficked in America covered the clues to finding, and working with, trafficking victims, including examples of trafficking cases MLA has handled in Michigan. The discussion included review of legal remedies and federal protections for trafficking victims of farm labor contractors who bring in foreign labor under false pretenses, and who abuse and exploit workers. 

Administration Proposes Limiting Immigration by Expanding "Public Charge" Restrictions
 A proposed final rule from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would require government officials to place greater weight on an immigrant's medical history and income when determining whether to grant or deny immigration status. The proposed rule would expand the number of federal programs that, if utilized, would count against a family. Nonprofits and advocates are concerned that even the revised approach, while less intrusive than an earlier draft, would still have a chilling affect on some immigrants  that will discourage them from seeking medical coverage or care. If the proposed final rule is approved and implemented, it may cost an estimated 33.8 billion in economic loss   and 230,000 lost jobs. Public comments are due December 10.
Migrant Legal Aid on WKTV Journal in Focus: Hate, Harassment and Threats toward Migrant Labor 

Grand Rapids based Migrant Legal Aid organization talks with WKTV. Director and attorney Teresa Hendricks and attorney Ben O'Hearn discuss the group's work to protect migrant agricultural workers legal rights and the effect of immigraton policy on the migrant community. 
Migrants Hit Hard by Hurricane Florence 

Some of the people hardest hit in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence are migrant farm workers. North Carolina farmers bring in thousands of laborers primarily from Mexico on visas each year, and there are many others without legal immigration status who also work in the fields. From La Grange N.C., NPR's Jason Beaubien reports on the challenges they face and the efforts to help them.  Listen here
Migrants Suffer Rural Lawyer Shortage 

Migrant "farmworkers and unauthorized immigrants who are seeking legal representation don't have lawyers readily available in their communities or those lawyers don't speak Spanish. And traveling to larger cities to obtain legal services isn't always feasible for several reasons - it's too costly or might put someone at risk of deportation".  Listen to the story
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