Migrant Children and Youth



Migrant Children and Youth


Sent to Congressman W. R. Poage (Texas) with a cover letter signed by Betty Jane Whitaker of the Texas Committee on Migrant Farm Workers.

This paper was written by Florence R. Wyckoff, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Families Who Follow the Crops, California Governor's Advisory Committee on Children and Youth. It was originally prepared for The National Conference on Problems of Rural Youth in a Changing Environment held in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on September 22-25, 1963. This copy was reproduced by the Texas Committee on Migrant Farm Workers. 

Wyckoff's paper was written to educate people about migrant workers and their status. The author discusses families of migrant workers, and why they migrate, as well as the effect of high mobility on migrant children and youth. Wyckoff's intent was to inform the politicians who may be unaware of the struggles of migrant workers, but are writing bills affecting them and their families.


p.2 "There are many kinds of migratory workers in America, but we are mainly concerned with the agricultural migrant and his family because 'agricultural labor' is specifically exempted from much protective legislation covering other types of workers who move about, such as construction workers or lumber workers. For example, workers employed in agriculture are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, Federal Wage and Hour Law. All states except Hawaii exempt them from unemployment insurance and all but California exempt them from disability insurance. Only a limited number are covered under social security. Residence requirements make it difficult for them to qualify for assistance benefits."

p.3 "Economically, the migrant farm worker occupies the lowest level of any major group in the American economy."


Wyckoff, Florence R.


Box 241, f. 13, W. R. Poage Papers, The W. R. Poage Legislative Library Political Collections, Baylor University Libraries


1963 September


Baylor University Libraries


Learn more:

Cosgrove, B. (2013) Bitter Harvest: LIFE With America's Migrant Workers, 1959LIFE magazine Mar 10, 2013. (Previously unpublished photographs by Michael Rougier).  

The Position of Farm Workers in Federal and State Legislation, Social Welfare History Image Portal


Wyckoff, Florence R., “Migrant Children and Youth,” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed August 4, 2021, https://images.socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/items/show/317.