May 29, 2012
Michigan plans to step up inspections of migrant worker living conditions

The state plans to spend an extra $400,000 next year to check up on the living conditions of Michigan’s 22,000 migrant farm workers.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2013 budget — now being finalized by the Legislature — includes the money to increase the number of migrant farm inspectors by three, bringing the total to eight.

The stepped-up regulation of Michigan’s migrant farm program comes as the Snyder administration is easing regulation on many businesses and proposing to do away with licensing for many professions that are now state-regulated.

A 2010 report by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, based on an investigation conducted a year earlier, said migrant "families were often living in housing that was extremely substandard, including structural defects, lack of clean running water, exposed wires, overcrowding, close proximity to fields (and thus pesticides) and poor sanitation." Detroit Free Press

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