By Chase Cavanaugh
A grant will give migrant workers better access to diplomatic and legal resources across several northern Illinois counties.
The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project, or FLAP, fights against “human labor trafficking” of migrant workers across Illinois.
Executive Director Alexandra Sossa says this exploitation often comes from deceptive employers.
“They were told in Mexico, for example, they were going to be paid twelve dollars-per-hour. They were going to have a house where to live and food and things like that,” she says. “Once they’re here, they take away their passport and they’re not even getting minimum wage.”
Sossa says the $6,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois will allow FLAP to offer workshops in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle and Stephenson Counties. The events inform migrants of their rights and help match those who are exploited with legal representation.
The grant will also allow the Mexican Consulate’s mobile office to travel to these areas.
FLAP works statewide, but Sossa says grants like this one help them further focus their work in specific communities.