For Immediate Release
April 25, 2013
Reference: Berna Ellorin, BAYAN USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Only a Strong Immigrant Rights Movement Can Win Pro-People Immigration Reform— BAYAN-USA
All around the US, Filipinos along with other groups who comprise the massive immigrant population in the US, are fighting to change this country’s immigration policy, which currently facilitates the systemic exploitation, abuse, and repression of migrant workers. BAYAN-USA joins the May 1st marches across the country to stand up for migrant, immigrant and workers rights. We also endorse the principles and demands of the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) for genuine comprehensive immigration reform to end deportations, unify and protect families, and end the modern day slavery of workers.
“The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act introduced by Washington’s Gang of 8 beefs up the stick of border control for the enforcement hawks while dangling the carrot of a steady flow of flexible labor for business—without recognizing migrant workers as human beings deserving of respect, dignity and full human rights,” said Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of BAYAN-USA. “This pro-business deal affirms that only a strong, unified immigrant rights movement in the US will be able to achieve truly pro-people immigration reform; it won’t come from policymakers whose only concerns are increasing the bottom-line for business and racking up votes from the growing immigrant population.”
“Four Pillars” Framework
The Senate immigration reform bill revolves around a so-called framework of four pillars purported by the Gang of 8 and endorsed by the Commander-in-Chief himself. It proceeds from the belief that migrants are a cheap source of exploitable labor on the one hand, and on the other hand a threat to the domestic security of the US and therefore must be heavily monitored, regulated, and subject to harsh law enforcement. The illegalization of migrants is aligned with the US’s military and prison industrial complexes, which push the US economy to rely more and more on militarization and private prisons—including the growing immigrant prison industry— for sustenance. Despite President Obama’s outspoken push for comprehensive immigration reform, he has deported over 1.4 million immigrants in his first 42 months as president, much more than former President Bush and all previous American presidents, according to numbers provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Senate bill also answers the demands of big business for flexibilization of the global labor market under the current economic crisis. This framework has resuscitated legal slavery and human trafficking in the US in order to reap the super-profits needed for US corporations to survive the current crisis. At present, this is already a function of the US guestworker program; the bill introduced by the Gang of 8 would expand guestworker programs even more, without strengthening worker protections. Instead, guestworker programs must be over-hauled to protect workers from discrimination and exploitation, provide for equal pay such as the prevailing wage in the industry, protect the right to unionize, and uphold the right to change employers and seek permanent residency or citizenship.
The Senate bill also seeks to pit migrant workers against each other by stratifying immigrant categories based on education-level, skill-level, whether or not they are “well-meaning”, and how and when they arrived in the US. It is under such conditions that a draconian reform bill with racist underpinnings can be passed so swiftly and easily. We demand true immigration reform to provide real pathways to legalization for all current undocumented migrants living and working in the US, free of restrictions based on country of origin, economic status, education, or length of residency.
Unite and Build the Immigrant Rights Movement
In this era of neoliberalism, migration is not a choice, but a means to survive. US foreign economic policy is the biggest proponent of neoliberalism and forced migration one of its adverse social impacts. The U.S. government policies of war and exploitation – in the service of the 1% - fuel economic and social instability worldwide. Immigrants and migrants should not be blamed and scapegoated for our national security issues.
Any just and pro-people legislation that is passed in the US can only be the result of a peoples struggle. The same applies to the immigration reform and the immigrant rights struggle in the US. Our demands for genuine immigration reform are linked to our struggle for a world where all people can thrive, families are not separated by the urgent need for survival, and our homelands have the conditions in which all people can live a decent and humane life.
What was introduced by the Gang of 8 proves that genuine, fundamental change to the immigration system will not be won by relying on the goodwill of elected officials in Washington. As the Gang of 8’s bill gets debated and the House crafts its immigration reform bill, let us continue to build, strengthen, and unite the movement for immigrant rights to challenge repressive provisions and demand immigration reform that has the rights of immigrant families and workers at its heart. Our movement is the principal means of ensuring dignity, respect, and human rights for all immigrants in the US!
BAYAN USA joins NAFCON and all migrants, immigrants, and workers on International Workers Day-May 1st rallies across the nation listed below! Join us in raising our voices against deportations and to call for workers rights across the board!
Los Angeles, CA
Southern California Immigration Coalition May Day March
4pm @ Olympic Blvd and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles
New York, NY
May 1st Coalition Action
12pm rally in Union Square
Meet @ Southeast Corner of the Park
3pm @ Fruitvale BART Plaza
Opening rally at Fruitvale BART
March to Mi Pueblo & rally
March to Josie de la Cruz Park & closing rally
Portland I.W.W. Jobs with Justice, and VOZ
2PM @ O’Bryant Square- 9th and Stark
3PM Rally & March
San Diego, CA
2pm Opening Rally at the Civic Center, 3rd & B St.
5:00 Closing Rally at Chicano Park, 1981 Logan Ave.
San Francisco, CA
3pm @ 24 & Mission st March to Civic Center
San Jose, CA
3pm @ 2020 East San Antonio
Marching to San Jose City Hall
Rally with Faith and Community Leaders
1pm @ Judkins Park
API United and Youth Contingent
2:00PM @ 20th Ave. S and S. Jackson St.
3pm @ Downtown Seattle May 1st Rally
March to Jackson Federal Building (915 2nd Avenue Seattle, WA 98174)
END DEPORTATIONS NOW!
WORKERS RIGHTS FOR ALL!
UNITE & PROTECT FAMILIES!
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL!
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2013
Contact: Terrence Valen
NAFCON President: 415.333.6267, email@example.com
Filipinos across the U.S. Say Senate Immigration Bill Falls Short
Throughout the Country Filipinos Gear Up for Week of Advocacy and Action Starting May 1st to Tell Congress Prioritize Protecting Workers and Keeping Families Together Not Big Business and Profits
In the wake of the “Gang of Eight” release of the U.S. Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, Filipinos throughout the country respond to the proposed legislation.
Bernadette Herrera, a representative of Migrante Northern California and Vice-President of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) says, “The bill ignores the reality for many Filipino families, where siblings go abroad to earn money to support their siblings. If this bill were to become law, many Filipino families would never be able to be together.”
The Senate current proposal eliminates the sibling category (18 months after the bill becomes law), which means U.S. citizens could no longer petition their siblings in the Philippines and other countries to immigrate to the U.S.
“In a lot of Filipino families, older siblings are the main wage earners and they take care of the rest of their siblings and cousins. Many send money back home to support their younger brothers and sisters and then petition to bring them to the U.S. so they can be together. This bill would deny them the chance to unite their family,” continues Herrera.
Even though the bill allows siblings to apply for a “merit based visa,” many Filipinos along with Herrera are concerned in situations such as if the sibling were disabled or not skilled in a category that allows them to be eligible for this visa.
Another concern with the Senate proposal is related to the December 31st, 2011 deadline to be eligible for a pathway to legalization. All current and future undocumented that arrive after the deadline will not be eligible.
Anne Beryl Corotan, a NAFCON campaigns coordinator in New York highlighted human trafficking as one example why the current senate bills falls short.
“There are workers who are still being recruited from the Philippines, promised decent jobs, brought to the U.S., and then forced to work in slave like conditions by threat of deportation. Based on this 2011 deadline, recent and future victims will continue to be left in the shadows without the options afforded by the proposed law,” says Corotan.
The proposed legislation entitled “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” restructures the U.S. immigration policy more toward meeting the labor demands of big businesses in America along with plans to increase border enforcement, deal with the large visa backlog, and provide a path to legalization for the over eleven million undocumented in the U.S.
NAFCON who has been waging several campaigns protecting and advancing the rights and welfare of immigrants in the U.S. has just released its own proposal entitled “Our Principles and Demands for Genuine Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” that prioritizes protecting workers and keeping families together not big businesses and their profits.
Terrence Valen, NAFCON President, explains, “Our demands for genuine immigration reform are linked to our struggle for a world where all people can thrive, families are NOT separated by the urgent need for survival, and our homelands have the conditions in which all people can live a decent and humane life.”
Ultimately, NAFCON encourages the public to look beyond the current frame of the CIR debate and consider how U.S. economic relations with countries such as the Philippines play into contributing to the poverty that pushes so many to flee to the U.S. in search of opportunity.
As a part of its effort to influence the debate, NAFCON, with its 30 member organizations nationwide, is organizing a week of advocacy and action starting May 1st International Workers Day taking place in New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago, Oakland, San Jose, Daly City, and San Francisco.
The week of action includes rallies and marches on May 1st, educational forums, release of art work and a newsletter launching a new cartoon strip series focused on the a fictional caregiver named Andrea Bonifacio.
In addition, the alliance will also lobby Senators Schumer (NY), Durbin (IL), Feinstein (CA) and others to utilize NAFCON’s Principles and Demands as a guide informing their decisions regarding CIR.
NAFCON will be joined by several other Filipino alliances including Migrante International U.S. chapters, Gabriela-USA, and BAYAN-USA.
For more information on NAFCON, its Principles and Demands on Genuine Comprehensive Reform, and participating in its week of action go to www.nafconusa.org or contact Terrence Valen at 415.333.6267.###
To view NAFCON’s Principles and Demands: Click here.
Taking us into the back stories of the often neglected painful lives and struggles of our Filipino migrant workers, Bells Ring, Mr. King brings caregivers out of the shadows and into our hearts. It is a wake up call reminding us of the need to take a stand with the backbone of our society - the workers who are taking care of our young and elderly and the immigrants who have sacrificed it all while providing us with much needed services. Bells Ring, Mr. King is a part of this year’s LA Asian Pacific Filmfest shorts program “Her Love,” and SiGAw is a proud community partner! Join us for the “Her Love” program on Saturday, May 4, 4:45pm at the Directors Guild of America 2, which will also feature Arrival, Doll, My Mother’s Jade, Voices, Deliver Her and Advantageous.
“It is truly a gift to know the love and care from a strong woman. She can be your aunt, your daughter or even your caretaker. The diverse points of view in this program show the breadth and depth of a woman’s love, resilience and heart.” — Eseel Borlasa
For a full program of the Filmfest, visit the LAAPFF website at: laapff.festpro.com/films
Make sure to get in on LAAPFF’s Instagram contest where participants have a chance to win 2 free tickets!
Just tell why you’re looking forward to the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival through Instagram and tag @asianfilmfestla001 #laapff and Facebook for a chance to win a pair of free movie tickets! Even if you’ve never been to the film fest, you can share why you love films! Feel free to get creative! Three winners will be chosen every Wednesday at 12 noon until May 1, 2013. Non-instagramers, you have a chance too.
How to play:
1) Take a picture with of a written statement, answering what about LAAPFF/films inspires you?
2) Make sure to tag the Filmfest on Instagram @asianfilmfestla001 & #laapff so they see your submission.
3) Share your picture on Facebook!
Non-instagramers, just follow rules 1&3!
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been signed by representatives of Apex Mining Co., Inc., Indug Kautawan (Mansaka term for People Stand Up) and witnessed by Panalipdan Southern Mindanao and local government units.
The following are the salient points of the MOA:
1. The houses of 42 families of artisanal small-scale miners will not be demolished and their livelihood has been recognized in St. Francis, Brgy. Teresa;
2. Suspension of mining operation in the ancestral domain of Mansaka tribe in Sagaysagay since there was no tribal consent. This starts the process for reclaiming the land for the Mansaka tribe. Open-pit mining is not allowed;
3. Rehabilitation of Masara river by desiltation, building riprap and planting bamboo along river banks;
4. Rehabilitation of damaged bridge in Brgy. Elizalde and municipal roads;
5. Reparation payment of PhP 3 million for damaged houses;
6. P600,000.oo worth of rice as immediate food assistance for 3 months;
7. Goodwill of 450 food packs of 5 kilos, noodles, sardines, corned beef, and coffee.
The provincial and municipal government intervened and committed to help in the reconstruction of shelters.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2013
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA-USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigrant Working Women Take to the Streets to Fight Against Imperialist Exploitation
On March 8th, International Working Women’s Day, GABRIELA USA will join with multi-ethnic women and from im/migrant and working class communities across the US to demand an end to the suffering and violence afflicting Filipina women and children amidst heightening contradictions of a global imperialist system. From coast to coast, member organizations from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Washington D.C. will take their demands to the streets and call for living wage jobs, access to health care and education, protections from violence against migrant communities and as basic human rights.
After two years under the Aquino administration, conditions for the Filipino people continue to worsen. Neoliberal policies of both the US-Obama administration and the Philippine-Aquino administration aggravates conditions for Filipino women. The Philippines has a staggering 10.5% unemployment rate (IBON Foundation, 2013), while women make up the largest portion of government-tallied unemployed citizens in the Philippines.
Under Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan program, which seeks to suppress the people’s resistance to intensifying poverty, an increasing number of women and children are becoming victims of severe human rights violations. In 2012 alone, there have been 7 reported cases of rape of women and children by military personnel, attempted murder, kidnapping, enforced disappearances, political killings and other violations of the rights against women and children.
Barug Katawhan leader and typhoon Pablo survivor, Cristina Morales Jose was gunned down by an unidentified motorcycle riding assassin in Baganga, Davao Oriental on March 4 around 6pm, just 4 days into Women’s History month. Cristina Morales Jose earlier exposed the food blockade and militarization of relief operations conducted by 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, under the U.S.-backed Aquino administration. They were found hoarding supplies for typhoon survivors. If it were not for the large-scale logging and mining being done by multi-national corporations in the first place, Typhoon Pablo victims would not have experienced the level of devastation it reached. This neglect by the government before and after the typhoon is deplorable. GABRIELA USA is appalled at the continued attacks by the Aquino regime continuing in the legacy of his predecessors, who have done nothing but capitulate to US imperialist interests and multinational corporations at the expense of the rights and livelihood of the Filipino people.
Worsening poverty has forced the migration of Filipinas to work overseas and often find themselves working jobs where they are vulnerable to violence and exploitation. In the US, government policies and free trade laws, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the soon-to-be Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), fail to protect Filipino overseas workers. Many Filipina migrant workers in the US, such as domestic helpers, caregivers and airport workers, are subjugated to low-wage contract work often without health benefits, worker protections, living wages or become victim to illegal labor practices and human trafficking.
Like Filipinos, Latinos also experience similar patterns of forced migration. Just last February 14, the day that women and communities joined the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women by dancing in the streets, a 66-year-old mother and Latina ally of Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) in San Francisco was detained for speaking out against deportations at a Senate hearing on immigration reform where no Latino immigrant was given a chance to speak.
“This situation is a reminder that the struggles and root causes perpetuated by U.S. imperialist policies has forced migrants out of their own countries and have contributed greatly to the U.S. economy, yet are still treated as though they are criminal and less than human. We must put an end to this kind of economic violence afflicting our immigrant communities,” states Valerie Francisco, GABRIELA-USA Chairperson. Furthermore, despite the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which gives protections to survivors of domestic violence, it is still short of providing protections for immigrant and undocumented women.
As low-income and migrant women are facing a backlash of budget cuts geared towards health care and services to victims of domestic violence, it is clear now more than ever that both the U.S. and Philippine governments are failing to protect the safety and well-being of Filipinas and their families. GABRIELA-USA calls on Filipinas and allies everywhere to join the struggle to stop the economic violence of Filipina women and children perpetuated by U.S. imperialism. We must continue to fight for more living-wage jobs and quality healthcare for families in the Philippines and abroad. We must address cuts to education, healthcare, and social services that support our families through these worsening economic times. We must be steadfast in demanding justice for all victims of state-sponsored violence and resist U.S. military intervention and Aquino’s puppetry.
Stop the imperialist exploitation and oppression of women and children!
No to U.S. Military occupation over our land and our bodies!
In celebration of International Working Women’s Day, please join GABRIELA-USA at any of the following actions:
Bangon, Sulong Kababaihan!
Songs, Poems, and Dances of Courage, Inspiration and Hope
Wednesday, March 6 (event already concluded - thank you for your support!)
@ Echo Park United Methodist Church
We invite you to also support the National Domestic Workers Alliance, IDEPSCA (Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California) and UCLA Labor Center as they celebrate working women!
Sat, March 9, 2013
10am - 2pm
UCLA Labor Center
675 S. Park View St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Celebrate women leaders who make history, still standing to fight for their rights & those of their families. We will celebrate w/ workshops, food and music!
Event will be in Spanish. Please RSVP w/ Guadalupe Garcia 213-252-2952 x.12 email@example.com or Natalia Garcia 213-480-4155 x.208 firstname.lastname@example.org & request translation if needed.
Women Speak Out for Justice Mobilization
Friday, March 8 at 5 p.m.
SF Federal Building on Mission St. and 7th St.
Celebrating Women’s Resistance and Strength Cultural Solidarity Night
Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m.
Bayanihan Community Center
1010 Mission St. at 6th St.
API Chaya Annual Candlelight Vigil
Thursday, March 7 at 4-6 p.m.
King County Courthouse
516 3rd Ave.
Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA) 17th Annual International Women’s Day Celebration
Friday, March 8 at 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
ReWA Main Office
4008 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S.
Women Who Rock Conference and Film Festival
Saturday, March 9 at 12 p.m. - midnight
153 14th Ave.
Speak Out & Vigil on the theme “Every issue is a woman’s issue” at the Triangle Shirtwaist Memorial, where in 1911 women workers died in a factory fire.
Saturday, March 9 at 11:30 a.m. in Manhattan
23-29 Washington Place
1 p.m. March & Rally — our contingent will join a rally called by Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) in Washington Square Park
March 9, Saturday 12-2pm
Washington DC International Women’s Day Rally & Speak-Out
Tivoli Square at 14th St NW between Park and Monroe
Sponsored by Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD)