VI-"Migrant Workers Need U.S. Protection" - Dale Wright - New York World Telegram and Sun

VI-"Migrant Workers Need U.S. Protection" - Dale Wright - New York World Telegram and Sun

Farm States Won't Help; Laborers are Gypped Everywhere They Go

by: Dale Wright | publication date: October 17, 1961 | Publication: New York World-Telegram and Sun | pages: 25

The night I decided to leave Florida and move north with the migrant laborers for South Carolina was one of the worst nights in my life.  I was asleep in a filthy room near Hastings when a baby's shriek pierced the night and woke me up.  I pushed open the unlocked door of the room next to mine to investigate.  There, lying on a burlap bag in an old packing case, was a baby, two or three months old, screaming in terror.  A huge beetle had crawled into the baby's mouth. Its parents were not home.  I picked up the baby, removed the beetle, and succeeded in quieting the frightened youngster.  There was no more sleep for me that night so I stayed with the baby and waited for his folks to return.  Beetles and roaches and cinches, they told me later, were the least of their problems.  The Florida potato belt also breeds big rattlesnakes.  They are likely to be found in or under any old building.  Flies and mosquitoes were everywhere, buzzing around in the remnants of food and debris.   

The sixth installment to 'The Forgotten People' series. Dale Wright moves from Florida to South Carolina and goes undercover as a migrant worker. He investigates the actual effectiveness of laws on the books to protect the laborers.

"The Forgotten People..A Report on Migrant Labor" by Dale Wright. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Dale Wright, c/o K.E. Wright-King ©1961, New York World-Telegram and Sun.