After record deportations, Obama’s welcome change of immigration policy

Cynicism at Obama’s election-year move aside, what gives me hope for real reform is the energy of the migrant rights campaign

Latino youth protesting Obama administration immigration policy

Myisha Areloano, Adrian James, Jahel Campos, David Vuenrostro and Antonio Cabrera camp outside of the Obama campaign headquarters in Culver City, California to protest of the administration’s immigration policies: on Friday 15 June, the president announced a change of policy. Photograph: Grant Hindsley/AP

In a major announcement Friday 15 June, the Obama administration declared it will stop deporting eligible undocumented youth and grant them work permits. I was immediately elated to hear the news that could change the lives of family members, friends, and thousands of young people who face the threat of deportation every day. Yet, as the initial shock wears off, I can’t ignore a rising sense of skepticism in response to the president’s nakedly political move in an election year. Nor can I ignore his record so far.

Securing DC’s Community – Washington Post

Ever since the Department of Homeland Security decided to conscript local police as “force multipliers” in harsh immigration enforcement efforts, sick cities and states have found themselves unwittingly or unwillingly part of the controversial federal deportation program misnamed Se Communities. But a bold move last week by the D.C. Council [“In D.C., no warm welcome for immigration crackdown,” Metro, June 5] to protect residents from the effects of Se Communities should serve as a model for the country.

Día del inmigrante

Spanish below English. Immigrants Day Hello to all the users of this blog. To mark Immigrants Day I want to talk about what happened in Sacramento, where people and leaders from various organizations met to present legislative proposals that support the immigrants of California and their families. A fellow worker and I are from San…

e-verify 2.0: The New “IMAGE” Program

A new federal program called IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) was just adopted by the city of Escondido in California. Through IMAGE, the employer agrees to use e-verify and also submit to regular audits of its employee information. Of course, case this will only have the same impact as e-verify – facilitating worker exploitation by pushing workers underground. See more here: Escondido: City becomes first in county to volunteer for immigration audit

From a Brooklyn Street Corner, a Women’s Cleaning Cooperative Grows

From a Brooklyn Street Corner, s a Women’s Cleaning Cooperative Grows

 

New York Times Article By NADIA SUSSMAN

After years of waiting on a Brooklyn street corner trying to land jobs cleaning houses, cheap Teresa Bucio decided there had to be a better way to earn a living.

Like dozens of Latina immigrants, Ms. Bucio, 33, used to stand at the corner of Division and Marcy Avenues in Williamsburg every morning, hoping to be hired.

The intersection — a bare cement triangle overlooking a sunken stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — is an unusual all-women day labor site where residents of the heavily Hasidic neighborhood find people to clean their homes. Ligia Guallpa, an advocate for day laborers who has assisted women at the site for years, estimated that some 200 women congregated there over any given week, and many of them are illegal immigrants.

Unnecessary Roadblocks Prompt Fayetteville Community Meeting with Fairburn Police Chief

The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights calls to end roadblocks associated with racial profiling in immigrant communities. 

What: Press Conference Before Meeting with Fairburn Police Department 
When: Monday, May 14th 1:00 pm 
Where: 191 South West Broad St. Fairburn, Ga. 30213 
Who: CPG, Fayetteville Community and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) 

Recent activation of 287(g) agreements, Se Communities, and HB87, that merge local police with complex federal immigration authorities has led to an increase in racial profiling and discrimination in law enforcement practices. 

In Fayetteville, community members will be meeting with Fairburn Police Chief James McCarthy on Monday the 14th to call for an end to roadblocks they describe as focal points of discrimination. 

Day Laborers in NY Demand Back Wages for their Work and an End to Contractor Impunity

Andrés Garcia: (917) 340-6850; andres.nynice@gmail.com

Valeria Treves: (917) 324-3305; valeria.nynice@gmail.com

(español abajo)

Day Laborers Demanded Back Wages For Their Work

and an End to Contractor Impunity

Saturday, May 5, 2012

10:30 a.m.

38-01 Corporal Stone Street, Bayside, Queens, New York

 

This past Saturday, May 5th, members of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), a worker center in Jackson Heights, and their allies held a demonstration outside the office of Bongjun Park of Well-S Industrial Inc. to demand back wages and respect.  

         
          Park and his company were hired by Yong Jin Kim of Keystone Growth Corporation for a construction job at the Dwight School, an elite private school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Park owes over $90,000 in back wages and damages to eight immigrant workers who did grueling excavation work.


          With the legal assistance of the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, workers have demanded unpaid wages from Park. Unfortunately, he has refused liability, claiming that the general contractor, Kim and Keystone Growth, did not pay him.


          “Day laborers are often hired by subcontractors, rather than by the contractor that has the contract with the property owner,” says Valeria Treves, Executive Director of NICE. “What develops is a chain of contracts, with employers robbing workers of their salaries and simply passing the buck on to someone else. The Park/Kim case, is a classic example of that”


          “Construction is one of several low-wage industries where multiple layers of subcontracting make it harder for employees to recover unpaid wages from the responsible employers,” said Tsedeye Gebreselassie, a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project.  “Unscrupulous employers frequently hide behind subcontracting arrangements to argue that they are not the worker’s employer in an attempt to evade responsibility for basic wage and hour standards”.


          “Day laborers across the country are facing more and more instances where employers utilize subcontracting schemes to avoid paying their workers. Bongjun Park and other construction employers must hear this message loud and clear – day laborers will not be silent in the face of this exploitation,” says Nadia Marin Molina,
Worker Rights Program Coordinator/ Staff Attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

 

“It is a scandal that Mr. Park refuses to pay workers who worked for him,” says Andrés Garcia, Worker’s Rights Organizer at NICE. “If he hires someone, he has to pay them. That’s the law.”

          “We decided to stand up against Mr. Park because we know that he will just continue to do the same  to other workers after us. We want him to understand that we have rights as workers and that if he hires someone he must pay them and treat them with respect,” said Luis Alvarez, one of the eight workers who worked for Mr. Park.

 

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Para distribución inmediata:

Andrés García: (917) 340-6850; andres.nynice@gmail.com” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>andres.nynice@gmail.com

Valeria Treves: (917) 324-3305; valeria.nynice@gmail.com” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>valeria.nynice@gmail.com


Jornaleros Demandan el Pago de Sueldos y

un Fin a la Impunidad en el Sistema de Contratación

5 de mayo del 2012

Queens, New York

Este sábado, 5 de mayo, miembros de New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), un centro de trabajadores en Jackson Heights, y sus aliados tendrán una demostración afuera de la casa de Bongjun Park, de Industrial Inc., para exigir el pago de sus sueldos y respeto.

Park y su compañía fueron contratados por Yong Jin Kim de la corporación Keystone Growth para un trabajo de construcción en la institución educativa Dwight, una escuela de élite privada en la parte oeste del alto Manhattan. Park les debe más de $90,000 en sueldos, daños y perjuicios a ocho trabajadores inmigrantes que llevaron a cabo un trabajo de excavación extenuante.

Con la ayuda legal del Proyecto de Desarrollo Comunitario del Urban Justice Center, trabajadores han puesto una demanda de sueldos no pagos frente al Sr. Park. Desafortunadamente, Park se ha negado a tomar responsabilidad, diciendo que el contratista general, Kim y Keystone Growth, no le ha pagado a el.

El negar la responsabilidad de pago es un problema demasiado común en esquemas con subcontratistas “Jornaleros son frecuentemente contratados por subcontratistas, en vez de por el contratista que tiene el contrato con el dueño de la propiedad,” dice Valeria Treves, Directora Ejecutiva de NICE, “Lo que se forma es una cadena de contratos, con empleadores robándole el salario a los trabajadores y simplemente echándole la culpa al otro. El caso Park/Kim es un ejemplo clásico de eso”.

Nadia Marin Molina, Coordinadora del Programa de Derechos Laborales y Abogada para la Red Nacional de Jornaleros (NDLON por sus siglas en ingles) esta de acuerdo “Jornaleros en todas partes del país están enfrentando cada vez mas y mas instancias donde los patrones usan esquemas de subcontrato para evitar pagarles.”

 

Es un escándalo que Mr. Park se niegue a pagar a estos trabajadores que trabajaron para él” dice Andrés García, organizador de NICE. “Si él contrata a alguien, tiene que pagarle. Ésa es la ley.”

Luis Alvarez, uno de los ocho trabajadores inmigrantes a los cual les debe Park, dijo “Hemos decidido enfrentar al Sr. Park, porque sabemos que si no lo hacemos, el seguira haciendole lo mismo a otros trabajadores en el futuro. Queremos hacerle entender que si en contrata a alguien para trabajar, debe pagarles y tratarlo con respeto.”

La manifestación tomara lugar frente la casa del Sr. Park en 38-01 Corporal Stone Street en Bayside, Queens a las 10:30 AM, el Sábado May 5th.

###


Valeria Treves
Executive Director

NICE New Immigrant Community Empowerment
37-41 77th St. Second Floor
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
718-205-8796
www.nynice.org


The Higher Stakes of SB1070 Debate – AZ Republic

When the Supreme Court hears the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging portions of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 today, what will be debated has much higher stakes than the limited constitutional questions of federal and state powers that will be before the court.

Perhaps those are the narrow arguments that will pass between lawyers, but SB 1070 isn’t about a battle between federal and state power. It isn’t even about immigration policy, nor is it about Arizona.

SB 1070 is about all of us. How we respond to crisis, how we treat each other and whether we will let the bill’s defenders stand in the doorway of history or whether we will refuse to have the hard-fought advances in our rights be turned back.