Thousands of children, many too young to drive, are hard at work putting in long hours in brutal conditions to make sure the rest of us eat well -- and cheaply.
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NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit spent weeks penetrating the close-knit and tight-lipped community of migrant workers and found dozens of children working the fields in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys – some who started work at 11-, 10- and even 8-years of age.
While an 8-year-old could not work in an office or fast-food restaurant, a 1938 law allows them to legally work in agriculture.
These children are working a full day in the fields picking, trimming and cultivating fresh fruits and vegetables. They often work 9 to10 hours a day in 100-degree-plus heat.
NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit found these children working all over -- not in China, not in Indonesia, not in Guatemala, not in Mexico - but in the United States, from North Carolina to California. Everyone interviewed worked on a large farm, not a small, family one.
And these, for the most part, are not illegal immigrants, but children born here in the United States.
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