Tag Archives: Syracuse

Light Work Partners with For Freedoms To Launch Billboard Campaign in Syracuse, NY

QUESTION — Syracuse, NY “Sanctuary City”

In conjunction with our exhibition, “Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul,” #LightWork and “For Freedoms have collaborated on a series of billboards. The images and text that comprise these public art installations aim to provoke conversations in our community that lead to civic engagement. View downloadable map of six Syracuse billboards here – http://lg.ht/LWBillboards

Installation: Hank Willis Thomas, “THEY ARE US US IS THEM”

Tucked into the provincial city center, down the hall from a coffee shop and public library is an obscure office where ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers do their work. They investigate and often detain undocumented immigrants in Syracuse, setting them on a path for potential deportation.

“This is a notice of eviction,” stated Rebecca Fuentes, lead activist of Workers’ Center of CNY, “We have found your office and its counterparts in violation of a series of basic human rights. In Syracuse, you have intimidated the entire immigrant community by establishing checkpoints in public places and on public transportation, by invading or threatening to invade the homes of residents, and through the aggressive interrogations of our community members. For these reasons, we hereby demand that you leave our city.”

http://www.lightwork.org/news/light-work-in-partnership-with-for-freedoms-launches-billboard-campaign-in-syracuse-ny/

QUESTION — Syracuse, NY “Sanctuary City”

32BJ Joins Board of Immigrant Workers’ Center!!

We are very happy to announce that Amy Sugimori, Director of Policy and Legislation for SEIU 32BJ, has joined the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Center of Central New York! We admire SEIU 32BJ’s history of fighting for workers’ rights and they have been very supportive of our work in Upstate NY for several years. Amy has a long history of activism and policy work in immigrants’ rights and labor, and drives 32BJ’s work on defending immigrant rights. Prior to her current position, Amy was executive director of La Fuente, a project engaging union members in civic participation in their communities, and was an attorney with the National Employment Law Project.
Welcome Amy and thank you Hector Figueroa, 32BJ President for your commitment to workers’ justice in NY. Sí se puede!

http://www.seiu32bj.org/press-releases/32bj-joins-board-of-immigrant-workers-center/

Press Statement: Three Local Policies That Can Help Prevent Tragedies/Tres políticas locales que pueden ayudar a prevenir tragedias

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday June 1st, 2018

Press Contacts:
Yanira Rodríguez yrodrigu@syr.edu 315-744-0329
Sara Curtis sara.curtis.wjcny@gmail.com 585-447-2125

Syracuse, NY: Three Local Policies That Can Help Prevent Tragedies

1. Equal Access to Survivor Support Resources
While Selena’s death was senseless, it also represents a chilling reality here in the United States. Fifty-five percent of the women murdered in the U.S. are murdered by an intimate partner. Though it is difficult for many survivors and victims of domestic violence to access much needed resources and support, these difficulties are especially acute for immigrant farmworker women.

The current wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric and the aggressive detainment of immigrants directly contribute to the isolation and vulnerability of farmworker women who have limited financial resources and little to no access to the transportation needed to escape dangerous situations.

We point out the barriers while acknowledging the many great local resources for survivors of domestic violence:

Worker Justice Center of NY Domestic & Sexual Violence Project for Farm Worker Women 24-hour Crisis Hotlines – WNY (866)343-8808 & Hudson Valley Region (845)471-3033

Vera House, Inc. 24-hour Hotline (315)468-3260

The Victim Resource Center, Inc. 24-hour Hotline (866)343-8808

2. Driver’s Licenses Regardless of Immigration Status
One tangible way for farmworker women to access basic services and leave dangerous situations is the ability to obtain a driver’s license.

In twelve states, people can receive a driver’s license regardless of immigration status. Unfortunately, New York state is not one of these states, limiting the ability of undocumented workers to access necessities for themselves and their families. The Workers’ Center is collaborating with organizations across the state to make driver’s licenses available to all as part of the Green Light Campaign. New York once ensured equal access to a license but Governor Pataki caved to anti-immigrant sentiment in 2001. NY A10273, which has 28 co-sponsors in the New York Assembly, would allow the state to issue standard licenses to qualified state residents regardless of immigration status.

“Too often, our immigrant communities find themselves in precarious working conditions and/or violent environments,” said Fabiola Ortiz, an organizer with the New York Immigration Coalition and a Workers’ Center ally. “Having a driver’s license would increase the chances of reporting the crimes that immigrant women are victims of.”

“It’s not just a matter of freedom of movement, but of seeking justice. Driver’s licenses are not a privilege, but a necessity, and sometimes can make the difference between life and death,” said Ortiz.

3. Restrict ICE and Border Patrol
Anti-immigrant rhetoric from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the White House, conservative media, and white supremacists hide the fact that immigrants make communities safer. Every study to look at the relationship between violent crime and immigration has concluded that immigrants commit less violent crime than native born US citizens, and more immigrants in a community typically makes that community a safer place to live.

Yet, despite these incontrovertible facts, ICE is attempting to use Selena’s death as justification to further terrorize and criminalize hard-working families in the region.

Given that ICE’s actions make it less safe for farmworker women to receive the support and resources they deserve, it is unconscionable that field director Thomas Feely would use Selena’s death to further the myth of the criminal immigrant. As the “me too” movement has so clearly demonstrated within the past year, men who commit egregious acts of violence against women are found throughout many different spheres of society–including the state attorney’s office, the white house, and at Feely’s own agency. Hundreds of reports were recently released of ICE agents raping and assaulting women and children in their custody.

As Selena’s mother, Estela Hidalgo Calderon said, “We came to this country in search of safety and we never thought we’d find a demon. But there are demons in all places.”

Restricting ICE and border patrol when possible will help give undocumented workers equal access to basic rights and resources. Private companies like Greyhound should restrict border patrol from racial profiling on their buses. Cities and local law enforcement agencies should not collaborate with ICE or border patrol if they want to help keep immigrant communities safe.

Farmworker women need be able to access life-saving resources without fear that they themselves will be torn from their families, criminalized, detained, and/or violated in the process.

Resources:

Detained, Then Violated: 1,224 Complaints Reveal a Staggering Pattern of Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention. Half of Those Accused Worked for ICE.

ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Widespread Abuse of Child Immigrants in U.S. Custody

Green Light Campaign

Protesters call on Border Patrol to Stop Boarding Buses to Question Passengers

The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

Special Report: The Criminalization of Immigrants in the United States

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PARA SU PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA
Viernes 1 de junio de 2018

Contactos de prensa:
Yanira Rodríguez yrodrigu@syr.edu 315-744-0329
Sara Curtis sara.curtis.wjcny@gmail.com 585-447-2125

Syracuse, NY: Tres políticas locales que pueden ayudar a prevenir tragedias

1. Igualdad de acceso a los recursos de apoyo de sobrevivientes. Al tiempo que la muerte de Selena no tuvo sentido, su muerte representa una realidad inquietante aquí en los Estados Unidos. El cincuenta y cinco por ciento de las mujeres asesinadas en los EE.UU son asesinadas por un compañero íntimo. Aunque es difícil para muchos sobrevivientes y víctimas de violencia doméstica acceder a recursos y apoyo muy necesarios, estas dificultades son especialmente graves para las mujeres trabajadoras agrícolas que son inmigrantes.

La propagación actual de narrativa anti-inmigrante y la detención agresiva de inmigrantes contribuyen directamente al aislamiento y la vulnerabilidad de las mujeres trabajadoras agrícolas que tienen recursos financieros limitados, y poco o ningún acceso a transporte necesario para escapar de situaciones peligrosas.

Señalamos los obstáculos al tiempo que reconocemos que hay muchos y excelentes recursos locales para sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica:

Worker Justice Center of NY Domestic & Sexual Violence Project for Farm Worker Women 24-hour Crisis Hotlines – WNY (866)343-8808 & Hudson Valley Region (845)471-3033

Vera House, Inc. 24-hour Hotline (315)468-3260

The Victim Resource Center, Inc. 24-hour Hotline (866)343-8808

2. Licencias de conducir independientemente del estado migratorio.
La capacidad de conseguir una licencia de conducir es una forma concreta para que las mujeres trabajadoras agrícolas accedan a los servicios básicos y salgan de situaciones peligrosas.

Actualmente, en doce estados, se puede recibir una licencia de conducir independientemente de su estado migratorio. Desafortunadamente, Nueva York no es uno de estos estados, lo que limita la capacidad de los trabajadores indocumentados para acceder a las necesidades para ellos mismos y sus familias. El Centro de Trabajadores está colaborando con organizaciones de todo el estado para que las licencias de conducir estén disponibles para todos como parte de Luz Verde NY Manejando Juntos.

A pesar de que Nueva York aseguró el acceso equitativo de las licencias, el gobernador Pataki cedió al sentimiento antiinmigrante en 2001. Ahora, NY A10273, que lleva 28 co- patrocinadores en la Asamblea de Nueva York, permitiría al estado para emitir licencias estándar a residentes estatales calificados, independientemente de su estado migratorio.

“Con demasiada frecuencia, nuestras comunidades de inmigrantes se encuentran en condiciones de trabajo precarias y / o entornos violentos,” dijo Fabiola Ortiz Valdez, organizadora de la Coalición de Inmigración de Nueva York y aliada del Centro de Trabajadores. “Tener una licencia de conducir aumentaría las posibilidades de denunciar los crímenes de los que son víctimas las mujeres inmigrantes.”

“No es solo una cuestión de libertad de movimiento, sino de buscar justicia. Las licencias de conducir no son un privilegio, sino una necesidad, y en ocasiones pueden marcar la diferencia entre la vida y la muerte. ” dijo Ortiz Valdez.

3. Restringir el ICE y la Patrulla Fronteriza
La retórica antiinmigrante de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE), la Casa Blanca, los medios conservadores y los supremacistas blancos ocultan el hecho de que los inmigrantes hacen que las comunidades sean más seguras. Cada estudio que analiza la relación entre el crimen violento y la inmigración ha concluido que los inmigrantes cometen menos crímenes violentos que los ciudadanos nativos de los EE.UU, y que más inmigrantes en una comunidad suelen hacer de esa comunidad un lugar más seguro para vivir.

A pesar de estos hechos incontrovertibles, ICE está intentando usar la muerte de Selena como justificación para aterrorizar y criminalizar aún más a las familias trabajadoras en la región.

Dado que las acciones de ICE hacen que sea menos seguro para las mujeres trabajadoras agrícolas recibir el apoyo y los recursos que merecen, es inconcebible que el director regional Thomas Feely usará la muerte de Selena para promover el mito del inmigrante criminal. Como el movimiento “yo también” ha demostrado tan claramente el año pasado, los hombres que cometen actos atroces de violencia contra las mujeres se encuentran en muchas esferas diferentes de la sociedad, incluida la fiscalía estatal, la casa blanca y la agencia de Feely. Cientos de informes fueron liberados recientemente por agentes de ICE que violaron y agredieron a mujeres y niños bajo su custodia.

Como madre de Selena, Estela Hidalgo Calderón dijo: “Vinimos a este país en busca de seguridad y nunca pensamos que íbamos a encontrar un demonio. Pero hay demonios en todos los lugares “.

Restringir a ICE y patrullaje fronterizo cuando sea posible ayudará a dar a los trabajadores indocumentados el mismo acceso a los derechos y recursos básicos. Las compañías privadas como Greyhound deberían restringir la patrulla fronteriza de perfiles raciales en sus autobuses. Las ciudades y las agencias locales de aplicación de la ley no deberían colaborar con el ICE o la patrulla fronteriza si desean ayudar a mantener seguras a las comunidades de inmigrantes.

Las mujeres trabajadoras agrícolas deben poder acceder a los recursos que salvan vidas sin temor a que ellas mismas sean arrancadas de sus familias, criminalizadas, detenidas y / o violadas en el proceso.

Recursos:

Detained, Then Violated: 1,224 Complaints Reveal a Staggering Pattern of Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention. Half of Those Accused Worked for ICE.

ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Widespread Abuse of Child Immigrants in U.S. Custody

Green Light Campaign

Protesters call on Border Patrol to Stop Boarding Buses to Question Passengers

The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

Special Report: The Criminalization of Immigrants in the United States

Work for Tips? Testify to End Tipped Wage

The Workers’ Center of Central NY is excited to hear of the NYS Dept of Labor Wage Board Hearings across New York on potentially ELIMINATING the sub-minimum wage for those who work for tips throughout the State.

The proposal would not eliminate tipping itself, rather the tipped wage.

One of the first hearings will be held in Syracuse on Monday, April 30th, at 10 a.m. [A rally and news conference will begin at 8:45 a.m.] The WCCNY along with the Tompkins County Workers Center intends to turn out in force to this hearing, ESPECIALLY with workers who presently receive the tipped minimum wage, as well as with workers who PREVIOUSLY have worked in a tipped profession. Believe us: if we and you don’t testify, industry sure will.

Read more about why the restaurant industry’s two-tiered wage system is broken. From the One Fair Wage Campaign:

Due to the lobbying power of the National Restaurant Association and Fortune 500 restaurant corporations, the restaurant industry is one of the only industries that gets away, in 43 states, with not paying the great majority of people who work in restaurants — servers, bussers, hosts, bartenders — at least the minimum wage.

  • Since the restaurant industry does not pay its servers the minimum wage, servers are forced to rely on tips as their wage. Their employer gives them as little as $2.13 an hour (the federal tipped minimum wage since 1991), and then takes out taxes. This leaves them with $0 paychecks, obviously insufficient to pay rent or put food on the table for their families.
  • Although employers are legally required to “top off” the pay of a person who works for tips if don’t add up to at least the minimum wage, enforcement is so lax and disorganized that wage theft has reached epidemic levels.
  • The restaurant industry includes 7 of the 10 lowest paying jobs in the country. In fact, people who work in the industry are twice as likely to need food stamps than the rest of the US workforce, and three times as likely to live in poverty.
  • Seventy percent of people who work in the restaurant industry are women. Since a living base wage is not guaranteed, and women are instead forced to depend on tips, they frequently have to put up with sexual harassment from customers, co-workers, and management. The EEOC has targeted the restaurant industry as the single largest source of sexual harassment charges filed by women with a rate FIVE TIMES higher than any other industry.

Please send us an email at wccny@workerscentercny.org if you would like to take part in the hearing. Facebook event page here
You can also call 315-218-5708

For other hearings dates and locations click here .

 

 

March for Justice: Immigrants and Refugees are Welcome Here

When: Monday, January 29 at 12 PM – 1 PM

Where: Syracuse City Hall, 233 E Washington St Syracuse NY 13202 Continue reading

Exploring the Intimate Link Between War & Racism

When: THURSDAY  January 18  7-9 PM

Where: ArtRage Gallery 505 Hawley Ave, Syracuse

PANELISTS:
Herve Comeau, community activist and attorney with Volunteer Lawyers Project
Rebecca Fuentes, community activist and Lead Organizer with Workers Center of CNY
Aly Wane, organizer with Black Immigration Network and Syracuse Peace Council

System-wide violence in US communities is the twin of US aggressive wars abroad. MLK taught that the antiracist and the antiwar movements must go arm in arm. Three eloquent speakers—each on the frontlines of local movements for racial, immigrant and worker justice—will share their perspectives and reveal the relevance of MLK’s insight today.

Sponsored by the Beyond War and Militarism Committee a joint project of the CNY Solidarity Coalition and the Syracuse Peace Council

Link to Facebook Event Here

 

Update on Detained WCCNY Member, Hector & How You Can Support!

Today, a longtime Syracuse community member, husband, father,  worker, and Workers’ Center of CNY, member Hector Navarro was detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) outside of his home after taking his wife Arely, to work. He was taken to and detained at the immigration office at 401 S. Salina Street (which is right behind Katko’s downtown office) this morning. The Syracuse Rapid Response Team and the Workers’ Center of CNY held a protest outside demanding Hector be freed and to speak out against this grave injustice. It is completely and utterly unconscionable that this barbaric and unjust immigration system will be keeping Hector away from his wife, Arely, and their three kids on Christmas. This is a double blow as their family has already been rocked by Arely’s fight against deportation as well. Below are a few immediate concrete steps you can take to be in solidarity with Hector and Arely at this time:

  • Donate to their YouCaring Fundraiser Page

Arely is still accepting donations through her YouCaring fundraising page for her legal fees and now for basic necessities for her family as her husband, Hector was the primary wage earner for their family. Please donate

  • Tell Katko Hector’s Story and Why We Need a CLEAN Dream Act

Hector was detained at the immigration office at 401 S. Salina Street (which is right behind Katko’s downtown Syracuse office) this morning.This horrific incident, tearing away fathers from their families just a few days before Christmas demonstrates why we are calling on Katko to push for a CLEAN Dream Act. More immigration agents and more border enforcement mean that more parents, like Hector will be ruthlessly torn away from their families and communities. When you call Katko, please tell him about Hector’s story and tell him we need a clean DREAM Act now!  Call details are here!

***Katko Action Rescheduled to Jan. 3rd***
Also please join us on January 3rd canvass John Katko’s neighborhood and tell him we need a clean DREAM Act.

  • Donate Money & Gift Cards for Hector and Arely’s Kids

Lastly, we will be taking donations for Christmas gifts for Hector and Arely’s 3 amazing kids. They have a young son who’s six years old and two daughters who are nine and eleven years old. This is certainly going to be a difficult Christmas for the kids, so we want to gather donations as a small show of solidarity with them for the holidays. Please drop off your donation at the Workers’ Center sometime this evening or tomorrow. If you’d like to donate email Nikeeta at nslade@workerscentercny.org.

We will continue fighting this cruel and inhumane immigration system. No more deportations.

Solidarity,

WCCNY

UPDATE 1/02/18

We have been in contact with lawyers to find out when Hector will have his court date (no word yet), we are currently working with United We Dream to create and circulate a petition to get Hector out of detention, and continuing to support Arely and the kids. We will have more details about all of this and more at the meeting so please let write me back and let me know if you can make this urgent and important meeting.
We are also encouraging people to write and send letters to Hector. Support is so important in times like these to remind Hector that he is not alone and there are lots of people in the community that are in solidarity with him. Please send letters to:
Hector Navarro Miranda
A205-021-464
Also Alrey and the kids are urgent need of some winter boots. Sizes are below.
Boots:
Lisania – size 6
Karen – size 6
Jesus – size 3
Arely – size 7
Please let us know if you are able to help help with the boots.
Some of you have asked about the letters of support.
UPDATE 1/10/18
We know many of you have have had few interactions with Hector, but you can talk on your letter about Arely and your support for her family which includes Hector. Hector has been a source of strength and support for Arely on her own immigration case. Both of them have complied with everything ICE has asked of them. Hector case was administratively closed on January 2017, so his detention was totally unexpected and devastating for their three US children who live in Syracuse and their two children who are in Guatemala. Hector has volunteer his time at the Workers Center in events like our yearly soccer tournament and workers rights trainings. He likes to play with his children and spend time with his family as much as possible.
Attached are two letters that Hector and Arely’s children wrote recently about how they feel after he was detained. You can see on the drawing how this is affecting the children. If you can write on your letter something about this, on how this separation is affecting their children that will help a lot. You can also say your are willing to continue to help once he is released, with rides, food, etc. We want to show the judge that Hector and his family have support and are part of the community.
 FYI, Hector does not have any criminal record and the only thing he is accused of is of working without documents to support his family.
He has lived in Syracuse since 2008.
here are the guidelines for the letter:
1. Introduce yourself to the judge and explain the relationship to Hector
2. Explain Hector’s good qualities and stress his dedication to his family and community, the fact that he is trustworthy, etc.
3. If you are willing, write if you could help with room and board in case it was necessary after Hector is out on bond.
 
The WCCNY is collecting the letters, please sign it and also make a copy of any ID you feel comfortable sharing with the judge.
Sign your letter and bring it tomorrow, along with a copy (or we can make the copy at the center) of your ID.  We need as many letters as possible.
Please also continue writing letters of solidarity and support to Hector personally. He got a letter recently from Ann and Ed and he really appreciated!
This is his mailing address in Batavia:
Hector Navarro Miranda
A205-021-464
Update 2/20/18
HECTOR IS FREE!
Thanks to his lawyer and the community support and organizing, HECTOR IS FREE and back with his family in Syracuse. We had a strong presence in front of the Federal Detention Center and at his bond hearing. Please continue to support the family’s you caring fundraising campaign here

Donate Money & Gift Cards for Hector and Arely’s Kids!!!

We will be taking donations for Christmas gifts for Hector and Arely’s 3 amazing kids. They have a young son who’s six years old and two daughters who are nine and eleven years old. This is certainly going to be a difficult Christmas for the kids, so we want to gather donations as a small show of solidarity with them for the holidays. Please drop off your donation at the Workers’ Center sometime this evening or tomorrow. If you’d like to donate email Nikeeta at nslade@workerscentercny.org.

Tell Katko Hector’s Story & Tell Him We Need a CLEAN Dream Act!!!!!

Hector was detained at the immigration office at 401 S. Salina Street (which is right behind Katko’s downtown Syracuse office) this morning.This horrific incident, tearing away fathers from their families just a few days before Christmas demonstrates why we are calling on Katko to push for a CLEAN Dream Act. More immigration agents and more border enforcement mean that more parents, like Hector will be ruthlessly torn away from their families and communities. When you call Katko, please tell him about Hector’s story and tell him we need a clean DREAM Act now!  Call details are here!

Call and Tell Katko: Keep Your Promise! Tell Congress to Pass CLEAN Dream Act by end of the Year!

Join the New York Immigration Coalition, the Workers’ Center of CNY, and all other people of conscience who are demanding that our elected officials include the Clean Dream Act in the spending budget before going home for the holidays this Friday, December 22nd. Just two weeks ago, on December 5th, Congressman John Katko (R) signed a letter with 33 other Republican legislators addressed to Senator Paul Ryan calling for a permanent legislative solution for DACA by the end of this year. In these last few days before the session ends, we want to drive calls to Katko to remind him to keep this critical promise to pass a CLEAN Dream Act before the holidays. The same way that legislators like Katko will surely look forward to being with their loved ones, it’s time they ensure that young undocumented immigrants can also be reassured that they will spend this holiday and many future holidays with their families.

Letter Congressman John Katko signed to Support DACA: https://rodneydavis.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20171205110110668.pdf

Call-In Information:
Congressman John Katko’s Offices. Please be sure to call your regional office and the D.C. office to make sure that Katko clearly receives the message! We are asking that you all make calls on Wednesday, Dec. 20th and Thursday, December 21st anytime during open business hours (9am-4:45pm).

Washington D.C. Office
(202) 225-3701

Regional District Offices:
Syracuse & Oswego, NY District Office
(315) 423-5657

Auburn & Lyons, NY Regional Office
Phone: (315) 253-4068

Oswego, NY Regional Office
315-423-5657

Script:
“Hi, my name is XXX and I live in CITY/ZIP. I am calling to thank Congressman Katko for supporting signing Taylor letter to protect DACA recipients, and to make sure they know it is absolutely critical Republicans take the lead in ensuring Congress passes legislation to protect our immigrant brothers and sisters before the end of the year. Now that DACA has ended, we need a solution urgently, and we are counting on Republicans to show leadership in working across the aisle to reach a deal before going home for the holidays. Without legislation like a CLEAN Dream Act passed with NO concessions, dollars in the federal budget will be used to deport DACA recipients. Will MEMBER/SENATOR keep their promise to do everything they can to ensure a solution for Dreamers by the end of the year, and communicating this priority to Leadership?”