Tag Archive for: young worker death


Risky Decision: Young Immigrants Sometimes Must Choose Between Work and School

BY John Cox Californian staff writer 

Armando Ramirez was about 14 years old when he left his home in southern Mexico to find work in California.

First he and his 20-year-old brother went to Salinas to apply for a job harvesting broccoli alongside their mother. But while the older brother was hired, family members said, Armando was turned down on account of his age.

About a year ago, the brothers moved to the Arvin-Lamont area. And that’s where Armando found the composting job that took his life.

Although his work papers said he was 30 at the time of his death on Oct. 12, Armando was only 16.

His case highlights the plight of immigrants who come to the United States as minors not to get an education — some have no idea of a diploma’s value — but because family poverty forces them into an illegal arrangement sometimes condoned with a wink and a nod. Read more