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Migrant Farmworker Children Forced to Keep Moving by California Rules

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A lifetime of moving has taught Claudia Morales to start packing early, because like many 13-year-olds, her room “is always a mess.”

The hoodies go in her suitcase, but as usual, all her partially completed schoolwork ends up in the trash. Just a week later, Claudia has new notebooks, along with new textbooks, and three bulging suitcases to start unpacking 200 miles away.

She does this every year. Twice.

This December, thousands of migrant farmworker children are making their annual trek to new schools in California, but they do so also at other times throughout the country. During growing season, their parents rent low-cost housing in federally subsidized labor camps, but state rules mandate that families move at least 50 miles away when the camps close for the winter.