Migrant farm workers

Public Domain Pictures

The hearing was held on Monday in Hartford Michigan, a little over nine years after the Michigan Civil Rights Commission released the first report on the conditions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the state. At the time one of the most urgent concerns migrant and seasonal farm workers had was with unpaid wages. 

Today, Jose Ernesto Lopez, an immigrant rights paralegal, says underpayment continues to be a problem. 

Feliciano Paredes

"We are at a point right now where the shortage in the agricultural industry is really causing a lot of issues across the whole, like in the agricultural ecosystem, like the dairy, the specialty crop which are those crops that require a lot of hand harvesting." 

That is Feliciano Paredes, who remembers traveling for several days in the back of his parent's truck in search of agricultural seasonal work from Texas to Michigan.