Date of Conferral





Human Services


Avon Hart-Johnson


AbstractMigrant workers often endure a variety of abuses in the workplace, including financial exploitation, exposure to toxins, isolation, and lack of access to health care. Although researchers have demonstrated that these circumstances exist for migrant workers in other parts of the world, there was a dearth of research on the lived experiences of migrant workers in Colorado. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to better understand the lived experiences of migrant workers in Colorado, who are a growing and impactful population in Colorado. The theoretical framework was Rawl’s social justice theory, which purports that no one group of people should benefit at the expense of another. Data from in-depth phone interviews with eight participants were analyzed and coded electronically, and thematic analysis was applied. Themes included workplace conditions, the importance of legal status and DACA, and motivation for a better life. This study may contribute to social change by providing information that can help inform treatment agencies, service providers, and policy makers about firsthand accounts of migrant workers and their lived experiences. This study revealed the juxtaposition experienced by many migrant workers between the frustrations and limitations resulting from their legal status, and the motivation for a better life.