Date of Award

Spring 6-14-2018

Document Type



Global Honors

First Advisor

Tanya Velasquez


The health and well-being of migrant farmworkers have been neglected in the U.S. despite the prevalent reliance on undocumented foreign labor to fill the needs of the agricultural industry. In 1942, the U.S. signed a bilateral agreement with Mexico which allowed the recruitment of Mexican workers for temporary work in U.S. fields until the end of the program in 1964. This program contributed to the increase of Mexican migration even after its termination and reaffirmed our nation’s dependence on migrant farm workers, both documented and undocumented. Due to their undocumented status, undocumented migrant farmworkers experience neglect, dehumanization, and criminalization that permeates the agricultural industry today. This paper addresses the health disparities and safety violations faced by migrant farmworkers and their families today, specifically in the Pacific Northwest which benefits from the billion dollar agricultural economy founded on their back-breaking labor. This paper will provide historical context and argue that the violations of human rights still occur in migrant labor camps. Possible solutions that contribute to the empowerment of migrant farm laborers will be discussed.