For migrant workers on Illinois farms, the job is hot, risky

There has been a sharp rise in the number of foreign farmworkers being brought in by employers on temporary agricultural work visas called H-2As, a trend some say is driven by a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Chicago Tribune
August 6, 2016

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Chicago


Farm labor, among the most backbreaking and lowest-paid jobs, is, for many, an honorable career passed from generation to generation.

But it also is subject to conditions not tolerated in most other industries. Agricultural laborers are exempt, in federal and Illinois law, from receiving overtime pay. Children can work in the fields as young as 12.

The composition of the farm labor force, which toils largely out of public view, gives workers little leverage to challenge poor treatment, worker advocates say.