Listen to the Miguel's story. Audio Producer: Natasha Del Toro

Miguel Miranda (with sons David and Juan), a 37-year-old migrant farm worker who also works part-time in a Mexican restaurant as a cook is no stranger to hard work. He often works 7 days a week earning minimum wage to help support his wife and two small children. However, he has stopped working temporarily because his wife is in the hospital battling cancer. “I have to be the mother and the father right now.” Miranda rents a small room from his father-in-law, but he says the relationship is tense and he doesn’t have any other family members that he can rely on for emotional support. His children have become withdrawn at school and Miranda feels pressure to return to work.

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"What matters, then, given the current rules if the game, is what kind of opportunity the labor market offers to poor workers, and who among them is positioned to seize it."

- Chutes and Ladders: Navigating the Low-Wage Labor Market, by Katherine Newman