Michigan's Undocumented Workers

By: Dan Ponce
By: Dan Ponce

When you think of illegal immigration you may think about states like California, Texas or Florida, but there are thousands of undocumented workers here in Michigan as well.

A majority of Michigan's immigrant workforce comes from Mexico, and many of them are here legally, but it's estimated that 60 percent to 70 percent of immigrant workers in Michigan are undocumented.

Many experts say this would be devastating to the state's economy.

"We are a fruit and vegetable state, a processing state, we need these workers to harvest our crops," said Juan Marinez of Michigan State University Extension.

Marinez said these workers are sending only a small portion of their money back home, and putting the majority of their earnings back into the state.

It's estimated there are 11 million undocumented workers in the United States. According to a spokesman from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, there are likely between 150,000 and 200,000 working in Michigan.

But so far there has been no formal study, and many experts aren't sure if those figures are completely accurate

A rally in support of guest worker programs will take place Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the state capitol.


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