Miguel Espinoza came from a family of migrant workers who settled in Lansing, MI. His family background and experiences formed his earliest awareness of the critical need for migrant advocacy. Espinoza attended Michigan State University and was awarded a BA in Spanish in 1983. He was a protégé of Jose F. Treviño, who further shaped his awareness of institutional racism and oppressed populations, and inspired him to work towards social justice. In 1991, Espinoza began working with the Michigan Department of Human Services in the area of migrant services. He has also served as a member of the Southwest Michigan Migrant Resource Council, a body of local, state, federal and religious migrant services agencies and organizations in southwestern Michigan counties, from 1994–2000, and was Chairperson of the Council for the year 2001.