As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee, Senator Frerichs recently held a special hearing in Springfield which focused on housing and labor issues faced by migrant farm workers in Illinois. Read the news release below.
From the Illinois State Senate
State Senator Michael Frerichs
52nd Legislative District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 217/782.0279
FRERICHS HOLDS SPECIAL HEARING ON MIGRANT WORKERS
SPRINGFIELD, IL –Yesterday, as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee, State Senator Michael Frerichs (D – Champaign) held a special hearing in Springfield which focused on housing and labor issues faced by migrant farm workers in Illinois.
“After we saw a particularly egregious example of the horrible conditions migrant workers can face right here in my very own district, I felt this issue needed some attention,” said Frerichs. “I hope we can work to prevent situations like the one we saw locally at Cherry Orchard in Rantoul.”
Over the past year, it has come to light that many migrant workers were being housed in dangerous and illegal conditions at the Cherry Orchard apartment complex in Rantoul. The living conditions at the dilapidated apartments, which included exposure to raw sewage, violated many health and building codes. July Pride, Administrator at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, who worked on the issue at Cherry Orchard, was on hand to testify at Tuesday’s hearing in Springfield.
Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee also heard testimony from Executive Director of the Illinois Migrant Council Eloy Salazar, Supervisory Attorney of the Illinois Migrant Legal Assistance Project Miguel Keberlein Gutierrez, Policy Analyst for the Latino Policy Forum Juliana Gonzalez-Crussi, and Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois Bob Palmer.
“Unfortunately, situations like the one at Cherry Orchard are all too common and also, too often, go unnoticed,” said Frerichs. “I hope that, by bringing attention to the issue, we can inform the public and work to solve this problem.”