There is another side of Immokalee that we would like to expose to you. Immokalee is the agricultural hub of Florida and home to many undocumented immigrants. We say America is the land of opportunity, but undocumented immigrants who come to Immokalee are often unable to live out the “American Dream.”
Thousands of undocumented workers come to the U.S. each year. They pay “coyotes” to help them cross the borders. They leave their families in countries like Mexico and Guatemala and cross the U.S. borders by foot and by water.
Migrant workers pick our nation’s produce. For tomatoes, migrant workers earn a piece-rate of $0.45 per 32-lb bucket. This wage hasn’t changed in 20 years.
They have no right to form unions, no right to overtime pay and no health care.
Since there is a huge surplus of agricultural labor in the U.S., companies can pay minimum wage and offer no benefits and people will still be willing to work. Migrant workers often work 12-hour days, 7 days a week.
To many living in the United States of America, slavery is an issue of the past, forced to be forgotten in our current modern day age. The struggle for human rights is found in distant countries and defective governments, a problem faced by others, but never by ourselves. However, for many undocumented and migrant workers living in Southern Florida, these seemingly far fetched ideas are a part of their everyday existence.
Urban Challenge – Camden, NJ Volunteers during Spring Break are needed to work in schools, hot-meal programs, medical clinics, drop-in centers for persons living with AIDS and HIV, homeless shelters, food banks, and other sites in inner-city New Jersey. In the evenings, there are opportunities to learn more about issues that divide us – race, class, poverty – in a safe and constructive manner. This is run through the Romero Center in Camden, NJ.