50-Mile Rule Regulation

Breaking barriers to help children succeed in school Extended Migrant Camp Residence for Farmworker Families with School-Age Children

Migrant farmworkers who reside in California’s subsidized migrant camps can remain in the camps only from May 1st of a given year to the end of November. A state regulation (Office of Migrant Services, Title 25 Housing and Community Development Programs, p 701.102) requires they must move at least 50 miles from the camp in order to reside at the camp the following year. Because they are forced to migrate, their children’s education is seriously interrupted, since they arrive at the camps at the end of the school year in May and are required to vacate their apartments two months into the following school year in November.

The Center for Farmworker Families is working with Food Empowerment Project to change the state regulation so that migrant farmworkers have the option of finding housing and remaining in the school district for the duration of the school year. Their children will then have a greater opportunity for academic success. In 2010, Center for Farmworker Families, with Human Agenda, introduced a bill in the California legislature, but it died in the senate. We will continue to push this bill until it passes.

What Can You Do to Help?

  • Contact your local congressional and state representatives and let them know that the 50-mile radius regulation is disrupting families and disrupting their children's education and contributing to academic failure and persistent cycle of poverty.
  • Raise awareness, locally by letting others know that families are being uprooted, in California, and forced to move (roughly) every six months. 
  • Support Center for Farmworker Families.  Donations help us continue to raise awareness, re-introduce legislation to the State of California until this displacement of families stops and we remove the 50-Mile Radius Regulation.