United States Conference

of Catholic Bishops

Promotion and Defense of Marriage

Plight of Farm Workers Explained

August 28, 2013

Las Cruces, NM

Photos © J. David McNamara

Plight of Farm Workers Explained

—by J. David McNamara


In an August 28th meeting held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Las Cruces, representatives of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty explained the results of their 2012 survey of New Mexican field and dairy workers. Speaking to a gathering of local religious leaders representing the Roman Catholic, Evangelical, and Jewish traditions, staff attorneys María Martínez and Tess Wilkes offered a detailed explanation of the many challenges, both physical and legal, facing farm workers in the state of New Mexico.


Among the subjects addressed during the meeting were the issues of grinding poverty faced by the farm worker population, as well as a discussion of some of the difficult and dangerous working conditions that exist in that kind of labor environment.  In addition, the problems of wage theft, pesticide poisoning, and the lack of overtime pay were explained by Martínez and Wilkes, who then elicited some potential strategies for change that the religious leaders of our region might be able to follow in redressing these glaring inequities.


© 2013-2015 Diocese of Las Cruces