Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood

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During World War II, a group of potato farmers opened the first migrant labor camp in Suffolk County to house farmworkers from Jamaica. Over the next twenty years, more than one hundred camps of various sizes would be built throughout the region. Thousands of migrant workers lured by promises of good wages and decent housing flocked to Eastern Long Island, where they were often cheated out of pay and housed in deadly slum-like conditions. Preyed on by corrupt camp operators and entrapped in a feudal system that left them mired in debt, laborers struggled and, in some cases, perished in the shadow of New York’s affluence. Author Mark A. Torres reveals the dreadful history of Long Island’s migrant labor camps from their inception to their peak in 1960 and their steady decline in the following decades.
ISBN: 9781467147842
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: New York
Images: 117
Pages: 208
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Mark A. Torres is the author of two fictional crime novels, titled A Stirring in the North Fork (2015) and Adeline (2019), both available on Amazon, and a labor union–related children’s book titled Good Guy Jake (Hard Ball Press, 2017). Mark is also a labor and employment attorney who tirelessly represents thousands of unionized workers and their families throughout the Greater New York area. Mark has a law degree from Fordham University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in history from New York University. Mark achieved his academic milestones while working full time as a refrigeration engineer at New York University and attending class in the evenings, all while raising a family. Mark’s commitment to the labor movement spans nearly thirty years.
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