Conditions still challenge migrant farmworkers

Capital News Service
LANSING – They work long, grueling hours in the blistering sun. Nearly half of the 90,000 migrant laborers in the state were under the age of 13 in 2010, according to the Department of Civil Rights. And the average migrant family makes between $12,255 and $16,773 a year, according to state estimates – far below the federal poverty line of $27,570 for a family of four. But they are the backbone of the state’s agricultural industry, traveling from Florida to Michigan and back again, year after year. They are migrant workers, And Marylou Olivarez-Mason used to be one of them.