Migrant and Seasonal farmworkers are housed at labor camps, which are groupings of trailers, small cottages, or houses. There are hundreds of camps throughout Michigan; Kent County alone has 85 registered Migrant and H2A labor camps in 2019. For the duration of their labor contract or growing season, migrant workers live in these isolated and vulnerable camps.
Since many of the housing units in the camps forgo safety inspections, units threaten the health and safety of the families staying there. Open sewer pits, lack of window screens, contaminated water, structural weakness in the floors and roofs, broken stairs or handrails, and other hazards are often found in violation of licensing standards.
Furthermore, 85 percent of farmworker housing units are typically over-crowded, which increases anxiety, depression, and suicidal attempts.
Although there are minimal safety standards to protect migrants, Migrant Legal Aid advocates for the right to safe housing, enough food, safe transportation and potable water.
Migrant Legal Aid provides services that ensure that farmworkers and their families live in safe and regulated housing. Common issues that Migrant Legal Aid confronts include vermin, broken screens/windows, lack of running water and wrongful eviction.
These are all photos of migrant camps our outreach team has visited in West Michigan over the years.