An hour north of Seattle, along Washington State Route 11, the land is flat but colorful. Bountiful acres of farmland stretch in every direction. Lush fields of raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries begin just yards from the edge of the road. They belong to Sakuma Brothers Farms, a regional grower that sells the berries by the millions of dollars to grocery stores nationwide, and to Häagen-Dazs for its ice cream.

Tucked at the bottom of the hill across from ripening blackberries, there's a labor camp in a dirt clearing—a grouping of wooden sheds with tin roofs, some larger cabin-size models. The mattresses inside the sheds look ratty and old, and the workers complain that rain leaks through the roofs.