Tag Archives: WCCNY

PRESS CONFERENCE: Farmworkers, advocates and local residents speak up for dignity and respect in front of Melrose Farms

Press contact: Rebecca Fuentes  (315) 657-6799 Workers’ Center of CNY
Farmworkers and advocates give a report to the community about the conditions at Melrose Farms. Enough is enough!
           On February 7, 2018 the town of Owasco ordered the owner of Melrose Farms, in the town of Owasco, to “cease and desist” the use and occupancy of the building where he had been providing housing to farmworkers and their families (see attachment for more information). Many people came together to support the families who then became homeless. It was a beautiful show of support for the farmworker community, as the families were assisted in finding housing, food and support while they found another job.
The farm was not only in violation of housing code enforcement, but also the Cayuga county health department found the farm did not obtained any permit to build a septic tank for the housing and that the waste was being discharged into the farm’s manure lagoon.
Even before many of us became aware of the inhumane housing conditions at Melrose, several workers had contacted the Workers’ Center of Central NY to complain about wage theft, as workers were not getting minimum wage or getting payed for all their hours.
On Tuesday, August 28, we are coming back to Melrose farm to give a community report about today’s working and housing conditions at this farm. We will share worker’s testimonies about current conditions at Melrose and demand action from local officials.

WHAT: Farmworkers and advocates present a report to the community about working and living conditions at Melrose Farms. Farmworkers will share their testimonies about working and living at Melrose Farm.

WHERE: Across the road from Melrose Farms, 3815 Melrose Rd. Auburn, NY 13021
WHEN: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 11:00 am
 
WHY: Farmworkers deserve dignity and respect now!
Six months after Melrose Farm’s owner J. Tidd was ordered to cease and desist use and occupation of a building that was found unfit for human habitation, what has been done by the owner and the local authorities to correct the working and living conditions at this farm? We must speak up and continue the pressure so employers do the right thing. The safety and dignity of farmworkers as well as the environment, depends on it.
February, 2018

Consulado General De Mexico En Nueva York/Mobile Mexican Consulate Visit

Trabajando fuerte para traer los servicios a nuestra comunidad. Aquí con miembros del consulado sobre ruedas de Mexico que estuvieron en nuestro Centro de Trabajadores.
Sí se puede!!!

Working hard to bring services and resources to the community. Here with members of the Mexican Consulate on wheels. They were in Syracuse at our Workers Center. Thank you to all who helped us and made sure it was a success.

https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/nuevayork/index.php/en/consulate-on-wheels

Press Release: NY State Fair Opens with Upstate Demand for Driver Licenses: Farm Workers, all Immigrants Need License Access Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 21st 2018

Press Contacts:

Rochester: Carly Fox, 585-500-9409, cfox@wjcny.org

Syracuse: Rebecca Fuentes, 3152185708, rfuentes@workerscentercny.org

Buffalo: Jennifer Connor, 716 550 9393 JFMFPress@gmail.com

NY State Fair Opens with Upstate Demand for Driver Licenses: Farm Workers, all Immigrants Need License Access Now

The State Fair largely celebrates New York’s Agricultural industry and the workers that hold up that industry would like to have freedom of movement and protection from being put in the deportation pipeline simply because they don’t have a NYS license. “Farmworkers, are an integral part of the motor that drives our state’s agriculture. says Luis Jimenez, president of the Agricultural Alliance in Western NY. “As a father raising U.S.-born children, I want them to have the same opportunities as others. If the police stop us, we might be deported just because we can’t show a license. My children are terrified every time we drive because it could mean we will be permanently separated.”

Advocates across the state say that New York should join the twelve other states for whom getting a driver’s licenses is only about driving and is not connected to immigration status. “New York should resume issuing licenses to all, and join the 12 other states that do.  It is a simple matter of safety for all who drive, and it will generate $57 million dollars a year for our state’s economy. It is common sense policy and the Rochester City Council is fully supportive of this measure.”  Jackie Ortiz, Rochester City Council Representative

License regulations can either be changed through two paths: Governor’s direct order, and through a change in the law. Assembly Bill 4050, first introduced in 2016, would make a standard license available, regardless of immigration status. The bill gained momentum during the 2017-2018 legislative session, with 34 Assembly Members signed on, including Pamela Hunter, Harry Bronson, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and it was introduced in Senate as S? at the end of session. Nine Senators have signed on so far.

 

“Farms are really important in Western New York and form an integral part of New York’s identity and economy, and today, Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse stand together to say: we need New York’s elected officials to deliver on issues that are important to us” says …. The health of our upstate farms and cities are inseparable, and safe driving  for workers, by having access to a license, would drive the health of our region. Driving is not a privilege, it is a necessity to daily life, and both migrant farm workers who keep farms going as well as asylum seekers who bring new life to our cities need access to a license now.

 

“We are out here because we support freedom of movement for the workers who keep our agricultural industry alive through the sweat of their labor” said Carly Fox, Senior Worker Rights Advocate with the Rochester Worker Justice Center. “The State Fair is a moment to celebrate the contribution of Agriculture to New York State, however, for most of the workers in NY who pick our fruit and milk our cows, there are significant barriers to be able to get to the grocery store and buy food.”

Gov. Cuomo: Take Executive Action for Driver’s Licenses Now!

Gov. Cuomo: Take Executive Action for Driver’s Licenses Now!

Green Light Press Conference Syracuse 8/21

AS STATE FAIR KICKS OFF, UPSTATE COMMUNITIES SEEK DRIVER’S LICENSES FOR IMMIGRANT FARMWORKERS

Join us on Tuesday, Aug 21st at 3PM for a press conference on the eve of State Fair to call for driver’s license access for NYS agricultural workers.

The New York State Fair, an event that is a celebration of the upstate agricultural economy, kicks off this week in Syracuse. The statewide Green Light campaign is bringing together elected officials, workers and community organizations in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo the day before the fair to call for driver’s license access for those who keep the farms running. Since 2002, those without Social Security numbers are denied access to licenses.

The Green Light NY: Driving Together campaign seeks to ensure equal access to driver’s licenses for all residents of New York State, regardless of immigration status. Our statewide coalition brings together immigrant communities, advocates, allies and other stakeholders to coordinate a unified driver’s license campaign. Twelve other states across the country have chosen safer roads and increased revenue by giving undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses. If New York does the same, it will increase revenue from licensing and other fees by $57 million annually for city and county governments statewide.

Location: Park Central Presbyterian Church 504 E Fayette St, Syracuse, New York 13202

For Press Inquiries Contact:
Rebecca Fuentes: rfuentes@workerscentercny.org 315-657-6799
Kayla Kelechian: kkelechian@workerscentercny.org 315-385-9874

Can My Boss Do That?

Save the Date

Date: June 8 2018

Time: 12pm-2pm

Place: 2013 E. Genesee St Syracuse Ny 13210

Bosses Stealing your Tips?

Unsafe Working Conditions?

Not Getting Overtime Pay?

Stolen Wages?

Hurt on the Job?

Come learn and share about your experiences with other workers! Hosted by the Workers’ by the Workers’ Center of Central New York, more details coming soon!

Please RSVP by 05/28/18

How to RSVP: call Kayla Kelechian (315) 385-9874, the Workers’ Center of Central New York (315) 218-5708 or email kkelechian@workerscentercny.org

Please notify us if you will be needing interpretation or childcare services

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

Torneo de Fútbol/Soccer Tournament! 7/22

Sunday, July 22nd 8am-4pm – WCCNY’s 4th Annual Soccer Tournament Fundraiser
Where: Christian Brothers’ Academy – 6245 Randall Road Syracuse, NY 13214

We are very excited to be having our annual family friendly soccer tournament fundraiser.

We are still very much in need of more volunteers to help with set up, serving and selling food, childcare, staffing the welcome/info table (especially our bilingual friends!), clean up, etc.

We are asking volunteers to take one of the following shifts: 6am-9am, 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm, 3pm-5pm. If these times don’t exactly fit your schedule, we can make modifications.

We are also asking for donations to help us purchase gifts that will be raffling throughout tournament and to purchase ingredients to help us cook the delicious homemade food we will be selling on Sunday.

If you would like to make a donation, you can come by our office. We certainly appreciate your donations whether that be your time or your financial contriubtions! Please email Kayla at kkelechian@workerscentercny.org or give her a call at 315-385-9874 to volunteer or to donate.Again, we truly appreciate your support!

Rally in Support and Solidarity with Arely! 5/16

***UPDATE: AT THE REQUEST OF ARELY WE ARE CANCELING THE RALLY. IF YOU ARE STILL GOING IN SUPPORT TO NOT CARRY SIGNS AND WAIT IN YOUR CARS. WE WILL UPDATE WITH INFORMATION AS WE GET IT ONCE ARELY HAS FINISHED HER APPOINTMENT. WE WILL BE RECONVENING WITH ARELY AT THE WORKERS’ CENTER AT 2:15. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.***

Please continue to support Arely and her family by donating to their fundraiser https://www.youcaring.com/arelytomas-804962

We are with Arely and her Family!

Join us Wednesday May 16 at 12:45pm in front of ICE Syracuse offices, 401 South Salina St. for solidarity and accompaniment of our friend and member Arely Tomas.

Last week Arely’s lawyer was notified by ICE that they were cancelling her scheduled May 30th check-in and requesting her to present herself on May 16th instead so that they could attach an ankle monitor.

Her check-in with ICE is at 1pm. Her appointment is supposed to last an hour, we will wait outside until she comes out of the building. We want her to feel the support of the community and to know that we stand in solidarity. Estamos con Arely y su familia!

If you can please support the family with a donation here:https://www.youcaring.com/arelytomas-804962

Arely is the mother of three U.S citizen kids, she is a fierce advocate and community leader. Arely and her family live and work in Syracuse, while taking care of the rest of her family back in Guatemala. She was turned over to Border Patrol by the Troopers in 2013 because she and her husband did not have a licence when driving to Ithaca, NY. Despite checking in with ICE for years, recently ICE has changed her phone check in to in person check in and now her most recent check in will result in an ankle monitor.

Join us in showing our support for Arely, her family and all those forced to endured these injustices.

Link to the Facebook event here

Update on Dolores 5/10/18

May 8, 2018 Court for Dolores Bustamante Synopsis by Lory Ghertner
A judge has denied Dolores’s asylum case today [05/08/18] based on the simple fact that an asylum case must be presented within 365 days of entry into the US. In brief, her asylum case was based on two factors:
  1. Domestic violence with the claim that her protected “ social group” was defined as Mexican women who cannot escape violence of a husband. (https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum ) Because she was only in a civil union, the judge did not recognize her case under that theory.
  2. Gang violence and/or the refusal to join a gang. Her claim was based on the murder of her son with two friends after being kidnapped and tortured. Neither Dolores nor Miriam could name a gang, which murdered three people. Because there was no “proof” or clear evidence of gang involvement that theory was also dropped.

Dolores was on the stand being questioned by her lawyer for over two hours, followed by ~5 minutes of cross examination by the government’s attorney, who used the above arguments to ruin Dolores’ claim of asylum. Then her daughter, Miriam, quite bravely, was on the stand for 15 minutes with no cross examination. This was followed by a similar experience with her Pastor, Milton Irizzary. In his ruling, the judge actually blamed Dolores for not leaving an abusive relationship and essentially for her son’s death. He also referred to a 2017 study from the Department of State, showing that Mexico now has laws preventing domestic violence and has convicted 11 (eleven) people over the past year. Her attorney will be filling an appeal by June 7 to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), a three judge panel that will determine whether the judge today gave a proper judgment. This will take approximately one year and will most likely also fail But this will be followed by another appeal to the federal courts, which will take over another year to resolve. The bottom line: based on the law, it appears that her case was properly adjudicated despite the ridiculous arguments presented by the judge. She has at least another 2 years before being ordered removed from this country. Thank you to all those who stood with Dolores and Miriam today and to all of you who have expressed concern, prayed for her, and generally wished her well through this trying, frightening, and frustrating experience. Tonight they both seem relieved that this part of the ordeal is over.

Lory Ghertner