For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
April 28th, 2021
Fanelly Millan (PEOC): 909-466-9068
Viridiana Vidal (NDLON): 702-206-2110
** See photos and video of the Caminata **
Pomona, CA — On Saturday, August 28th, hundreds of day laborers from across Pomona and the Inland Empire, household workers, immigrant youth, immigration organizations and activists marched 12 miles, across three cities, to demand respect from state and national leaders, employers, and society at large for the 12 million undocumented people living in the US.
“12 miles for the 12 million, that is why we’re walking today. Ultimately, it’s not even about the papers, it’s about respect,” said Jose Diaz, worker and member of the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC). “Just as we respect those around us, we expect the government to respect us also.”
Undocumented workers face a human rights crisis of workplace abuse – from sexual harassment and assault, to rampant wagetheft and unsafe working conditions. And in a pandemic, where infection, sickness, and death are widespread, thousands of workers are deliberately excluded from even the minimal workplace protections, or economic aid to stay safe. The result is the disproportionate number of sick and dead immigrant and Latino workers nationwide, as shown by a recent NDLON report, Honoring the Fallen.
“As long as immigrant communities are left out of the conversation, the situation will not change. The Caminata Por Respeto is about making sure you see us, and that you have to show us respect, at work, and in our neighborhoods,” said Claudia Bautista, Associate Director of the PEOC. “You want to have workers’ labor, you have to respect workers rights.”
NDLON and the PEOC have called on President Biden and US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to take immediate actions to address this human rights crisis – to utilize their full authority to defer deportation and provide work authorization for those who continue to work, those who’ve denounced workplace abuse, and those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic.
The “Caminata Por Respeto” came together with the support of the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC), the Rancho Cucamonga hiring site (at Arrow and Grove), SEIU 2015, the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Latino Latina Roundtable, Pomona United for Stable Housing (PUSH), and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
The Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC) is a worker center with a grassroots organizing model with a mission to empower low-wage, immigrant workers in Pomona and across the Inland Empire.
NDLON improves the lives of day laborers, migrants and low-wage workers. We build leadership and power among those facing injustice so they can challenge inequality and expand labor, civil and political rights for all.