An article in today’s Dover Post revealed that more than $24,000 in civil penalties were levied against a Delaware farmer for migrant farmworker camp violations. The farm owner, quoted in the article, denied some of the charges, saying conditions were “fine,” and called other violations “nitpicking.” But one legal expert disagreed.
“The camps are quite old and have not been maintained,” said Maryland Legal Aid Farmworker Program supervising attorney Daniela Dwyer, quoted in the article. “They had far too many people in there than the space allowed.” Dwyer, who had visited the camps, also pointed out that the trailers and wooden clapboard houses had “holes in the wall, leaks in the ceilings and windows boarded up with thin pieces of pressed wood or cardboard.” She also noted that the common area “had three stoves and no main refrigerator; one family had to ask several times to be provided one. At least one of the stoves had a gas leak and the wiring in the kitchen didn’t seem to be professional.”