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SAF estimates there are roughly 150,000 farmworkers in North Carolina, the majority of them undocumented, and two to three million nationally (other estimates put the number closer to one million).
Eric calls his parents and says he’ll be working for the Migrant Education Program (MEP) in Columbia, a two-hour drive from the College of Charleston, where he’ll be a senior this fall.
Police would be called and radio stations would broadcast Amber Alerts.
Eric is pretty sure those things won’t happen here.
* * * After Zach departs for the other end of Lowcountry, where he lives, Eric, now on his own, finds ID & R more challenging.
He might register one or two workers on a good day. Zach helps by calling and texting with places Eric might try, including known camps that haven’t been visited for a while.
Authorized by Congress in 1965 as part of President Johnson’s Great Society program, the MEP provides educational services — from supplemental classes to private tutoring — to migrant children who struggle to keep up as they move from one school to another. * * * Eric is assigned to the Lowcountry District of the South Carolina MEP.
He thinks what farmworkers need most is empowerment. It just refers to any place a farmworker might live.He is deep-voiced, slim and fit — an avid soccer player since age four — and wears glasses on a face rarely devoid of a smile.