Florida Farm Owners Assault Migrants While Police and Prosecutors Do Nothing

The day they came for Sandra Lopez, she was working the line inside Moreno Farms' packing house.

Cool air blasted through the cavernous building in a remote field outside Felda, a tiny hamlet nine miles from Immokalee. Lopez and 70 other workers, mostly Mexican and Central American women, stood in rows packing vegetables picked from Southwest Florida's acres of verdant farms.

Lopez, a short, soft-spoken woman with fine black hair pulled back tightly above sparkling almond-shaped eyes, had always wanted a job like this. She had been two months pregnant when she fled her native Chiapas, Mexico, and had braved a harrowing four-day trek through the Sonoran Desert in search of a better life for her unborn child. In Florida, she had spent eight years following the crops, toiling in strawberry and tomato fields beneath blazing skies.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink