Safe Housing

Safe Housing for Migrant Workers

Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are often housed at migrant labor housing sites, aka “camps,” which can be groupings of trailers, huge one-shelter barracks, multiplex row units, or houses. Their housing must be licensed with the State each season for occupancy. For the duration of their labor contract or growing season, workers live in these isolated rural areas. 


Conditions we encounter may involve unsafe structures, water, sanitation, rodent or bedbug infestations, open sewer pits, overcrowding, unlicensed occupied units, broken stairs or handrails, and other hazards. 


Migrant Legal Aid defends worker’s rights to stable and safe housing and stability, through its mobile outreach, education, and observation of conditions. In addition to our legal action, counsel, and advice for unfair or discriminatory housing concerns, we also make referrals to state and/or federal inspectors. 


There are approximately 1,000 migrant labor sites in Michigan. For example, Kent County alone usually has about 85 registered labor housing sites seasonally.    

Migrant Legal Aid: Defending Against Hate

In recent history, Migrant Legal Aid has seen an increase in acts of hate and harassment directed at migrant and seasonal farmworkers and food workers, and people of color. In response, we developed our Defending Against Hate (DAH) program that works to increase cultural competency in the judicial system, among law enforcement and victim-witness county advocates. The program reduces barriers to justice for worker victims by empowering them to report the crime against them, have less fear of testifying, and be better understood by those in the legal and law systems who are trying to help.

Our DAH work has resulted in increased awareness and prosecution of crimes against workers. We assist victims and law enforcement, as well as victim-witness advocates, to ensure the convictions and jail time for employers and others who commit crimes against farmworkers. Our interventions have helped prosecutors achieve criminal convictions in cases including human trafficking, firearm assaults, active shooter, racist tirade, ethnic intimidation, kidnapping, physical battery and domestic violence, harassment, and stalking. 

Understand and Protect Your Rights With Migrant Legal Aid

If you believe your civil rights have been violated, or have questions about your options, don’t wait to contact Migrant Legal Aid for help.

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