immigration

DC 37 Joins Rally in Philadelphia to Protest Trump’s Administration’s Abuse of Immigrants

August 17, 2018 // 1 Comment

By ALFREDO ALVARADO DC 37 members, immigration activists and union leaders traveled to Philadelphia for a rally to protest the abusive immigration policies of the Trump administration. Among the union leaders at the Aug. 15 rally at Penn’s Landing was Elissa McBride, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, DC 37’s parent union. McBride criticized the White House policies that have separated hundreds of children from their parents at the border. “A decent society does not traumatize children or treat people like caged animals,” McBride said. “The policy of zero tolerance is immoral and Trump should be in jail for it,” said Unite Here President D. Taylor. Unite Here — which represents workers in the food service, transportation and hospitality industry — was one of the main organizers of the rally. Members of the [More...]

Join DC 37 for a Rally Aug. 15 to Protest ICE Deportations

August 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

    By ALFREDO ALVARADO Union activists from the Northeast will gather in Philadelphia on Wed., Aug. 15 to rally and call for the end of deportations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an end to President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration. “The administration is so extreme on immigration that they’re deporting the spouses of military veterans,” said Florida U.S. Congress member Darren Soto. And The Washington Post has reported that the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border has been unable to reunite 572 immigrant children with their parents. DC 37 activists will be joining Unite Here!, which represents workers in the hotel, food service and transportation industries, and other union and immigration activists at 4 p.m. at Penn’s Landing to call for an end to the Trump policies. In New York City, DC 37 has taken a [More...]

Union Fights to Break ICE From City Courts

April 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE The union is standing up against Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents parking themselves in our city courthouses, intimidating immigrants seeking legal help. As part of a draconian Trump administration plan, ICE agents have been out in force implementing an enforcement policy supposedly intended to “target criminals.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, the ICE agents have created an atmosphere of anxiety and fear for New York’s undocumented immigrants, preventing many from appearing in court in a wide variety of cases. According to The New York Law Journal, in an article published in February, ICE agents arrested more than 130 undocumented immigrants at courthouses in New York, with nearly two-thirds of the arrests in the city‘s courthouses. Research by the Immigrant Project, which monitors the agency’s presence in New York court facilities, [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...]

Why We Must All Fight for the Dream Act

December 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ROBERT B. REICH By repealing DACA — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — Trump has endangered these young immigrants and the economic security of America. In 2012, the Obama administration created DACA as a temporary way to address the needs of young people who came to America as infants or toddlers, and know no other country. To apply and qualify for DACA, these young people had to risk entering the system by giving their identifying information. Once approved, they were granted two years of “deferred action” on deportation, with the promise that they could reapply every two years indefinitely. This allowed “dreamers” to go to college, get a job, and pay taxes without fear of deportation. DACA was never perfect, but for 800,000 immigrant youth it meant freedom from fear and an opportunity to fully contribute to the country they were raised in. But now these young [More...]

Parks Worker Facing Deportation Released from Detention

August 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Jose Molina is back on the job restoring Bronx ball fields for the New York City Parks and Recreation Dept. after the Local 983 member was detained almost a month after reporting to Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza. Four years of liberty ended for no apparent reason, his lawyers said, after Molina dropped off his passport July 13 and told his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. He was moved to the Varick Street federal detention center for deportation. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido , Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected officials and immigration advocates called for Molina’s immediate release. Molina was freed on Aug. 8. Molina, a dedicated Associate Parks Service Worker, is glad to clear another legal hurdle in his fight [More...]

Local 983 Member Jose Molina Detained by Federal Immigration Authorities

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 Local 983 member Jose Molina was detained July 13 after going to 26 Federal Plaza to simply drop off his passport and tell his deportation officer of his next court date in May 2018. Instead, after four years at liberty, and for no apparent reason, Molina was re-detained. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 983 President Joe Puleo, City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other elected leaders and immigration advocates support Molina and are calling for his immediate release. Mr. Molina came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident from Panama when he was an 18-month-old infant — 38 years ago. He grew up in Brooklyn and has a wife and two young children. His story first appeared in the Public Employee Press in May and July-August 2017. A dedicated Associate Parks Service [More...]

Union Solidarity with Immigrant Workers

July 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LAURIE STALNAKER The AFL-CIO is training union leaders and officials how to help protect undocumented immigrants. This is needed because the workers our unions represent are threatened daily by the possibility of raids and deportations under President Trump’s agenda. Union leaders and members will be trained to learn their rights and organize coalitions with elected officials and community leaders. That may come as a surprise to some people. People saw unions as being hostile to undocumented immigrants. These immigrants would, in past times, be seen as a way to drive wages down and be used by employers as strike-breakers. Does the recent organized labor support of immigrants contradict history? It depends upon which history you are talking about. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, early labor movements consisted of skilled trade unions. These crafts were the original basis [More...]

Breaking point

July 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Sammy Kamara was 7 when his parents sent him to live with an uncle in Monrovia, Liberia, to learn English with hopes for a better life. The uncle betrayed Sammy’s parents, brutalized the child and gave him away. “I was really a house slave,” said Sammy Kamara, a Local 374 Maintainer at the New York Botanical Gardens. “I was the perfect child laborer. I was not paid a penny. I worked. I cleaned. I helped with the children.” “It was slavery. I could not move until master said ‘Move.’ If I made eye contact, they would whip me,” Kamara said. His 2015 memoir “Breaking Point: A Journey of Self-Awareness and Finding Purpose in Pain,” recounts his eight years as a slave in Monrovia and the Bronx, and finally freedom. Kamara has worked for the Botanical Gardens for 40 years and attended New York Theological Seminary. His book draws on the wisdom of U.S. [More...]

Unions Join Daughter to Fight the Deportation of Her Father

June 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 and other unions are fighting the deportation of a Mexican undocumented worker who has lived 30 years in the United States. Many unionists joined immigrant rights advocates, elected officials and the family of Martin Martinez at a rally in front of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s building in downtown Manhattan for a rally on June 21. In April, ICE detained Martinez — who fled poverty and violence in Mexico to come to the United States —and held him for two weeks. Apparently, ICE picked up the Newburgh resident because he was twice convicted for DWI about 20 years ago. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido described Martinez’s pending deportation immoral and at odds with the country’s values, which include welcoming the downtrodden of other countries to the United States. Garrido noted that the union is involved in another deportation [More...]