immigrant rights

Thinking of Becoming a U.S. Citizen? Your Union Can Help

June 19, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS), the Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund (Legal Fund) and CUNY Citizenship NOW are jointly presenting a seminar July 1 on free services the union offers to help members on the path to becoming a U.S. citizen and its many benefits. This seminar will cover how and when to file, what the requirements are, the many benefits of citizenship, and more. Our experts and legal professionals will also discuss the citizenship test and how to prepare for it, petitioning for relatives, DACA, TPS, green card renewals and more.  Learn how the Legal Fund, MELS, CUNY and the DC 37 Citizenship Committee can help. Join us on Zoom for the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen Seminar for information and answers to your questions. Date: Wednesday, July 1 Time: 6 p.m. Via: Zoom  REGISTER HERE. [More...]

Nightmare Ends With Citizenship

January 29, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Almost seven years to the day his immigration nightmare began, Local 983 member Jose Molina began 2020 with the oath of citizenship. His family, union leaders, and a cadre of immigration lawyers and supporters witnessed the swearing-in ceremony at Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan Jan. 17. “I am just so happy and thankful that this day has come and I am finally an American citizen,” Molina said. He came to the United States as an infant and faced deportation to Panama for a crime he committed and served time for more than 20 years ago. Molina, an Associate Parks Service Worker, was initially detained in 2013 after an early-morning raid of his home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He was arrested again after he reported to immigration court to comply with a judge’s orders. DC 37 monitored his immigration case and fought on his behalf in union [More...]

NY State Attorney General Aims to Block Trump from Politicizing the 2020 Census

April 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s decision to include a question about citizenship status in the 2020 census. Union leaders and members, community and immigrant groups, the Oregon attorney general, U.S. Congressional members and other elected officials joined Schneiderman at a press conference hosted by DC 37 to denounce the inclusion of the question in the census. Schneiderman and other speakers described the Trump administration’s action as a political attack on blue states like New York and California, which have large number of immigrant residents. The U.S. Constitution requires the U.S. Census Bureau to determine “the whole number of persons in each state” every 10 years. The inclusion of the citizenship question would drive immigrants underground, leading to an undercount of [More...]

When ICE Comes Knocking

May 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

Local 983’s Jose Molina turned his life around, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may deport the family man for a 20-year-old conviction. By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Loud pounding at 5:30 a.m. on a cold January morning in 2013 jolted Jose Molina and his family from their sleep. Molina’s wife, Jennifer, opened the door of their Bronx apartment. In the hallway stood five armed men. Within minutes, they were knocking over furniture and spilling out dresser drawers. The commotion frightened the Molina children, then ages 11 and 9, who began to cry as the strangers confined them to their bedrooms, out of the reassuring reach of their parents. The men surrounded Jose and Jennifer in their living room. She begged for an explanation. Then the men, officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), handcuffed Jose and led him away as his crying family watched. Since that cold, [More...]

Trump’s Nationalistic Policies Worry Immigrant Members

March 31, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO President Donald J. Trump’s executive order issued on Jan. 27 sought to ban people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States. The order was swiftly struck down by the federal court with orders not to deport or detain travelers. Chaos prevailed at airports around the country on the weekend the day after Trump issued the ban. At Kennedy Airport in New York City, hundreds of demonstrators joined cab drivers and protested against the ban. Panic also spread among the thousands of immigrant New Yorkers. Fear spread to immigrants not covered by the ban and even immigrants who have green cards and visas. Ferdous Ahmed, a member of Electronic Data Processing Personnel Local 2627, was one of those New Yorkers. Shocked by what he was seeing on the evening news that weekend, Ahmed called the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) the [More...]

Union Backs Legislation for Halal and Kosher Meals for City Schoolchildren

September 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Local 372 is working with a coalition to secure healthy school lunches that meet the religious requirements of observant Jews and the city’s growing Muslim student population. On Sept. 6, along with other DC 37 leaders and activists, Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit spoke out at a press conference on the City Hall steps in support of the effort. “We need to provide halal and kosher food in our schools,” Nesbit said. “I was a cook in the schools for 17 years,” Nesbit said. “I know first-hand what it is like to see children hungry and to leave the lunch room without eating. You can see it in their expressions and they can’t function and learn during the day.” Several Muslim students joined the press conference. They spoke of going hungry because their schools are unable to provide halal school lunches. Tasheef Chowdhury, a student at Stuyvesant [More...]