On Monday August 11th over 150 Sakuma Bros Farms blueberry pickers, members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia protested and assembled a picket line at the farm’s field office on Benson Road to protest the firing of a union leader, unreliable lunch break times, onerous piece-rates and a new disciplinary scheme that was imposed by the company.
Cornelio Ramirez, a Familias Unidas por la Justicia negotiation committee member has been the target of an internal campaign by the management of sakuma Berry Farms to seek out and discipline farm workers who are sympathetic to the independent farm worker union with a previously un-enforced company hand-book that establishes a warning based discipline system. The farm workers do not even have a copy of this handbook. Cornelio received two warnings for talking back to company representatives (a labor contractor and an anti-union consultant), one warning for using his cell phone to record a conversation in Spanish, his second language, and another for “picking too slow”. Read more
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
8/11/2014 3:00:00 PM
|Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Council Urges Federal Comprehensive Immigration Reform to Help Seattle Families
SEATTLE - City Council unanimously adopted a resolution today emphasizing the importance of family unity and calling upon the Obama Administration to stop deportations of undocumented residents without serious criminal convictions. It also calls for the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and urges the administration to end the use of the I-9 audits that have resulted in the firing of hundreds of undocumented workers in Seattle.
The federal government’s stated priority is the deportation of individuals with serious criminal convictions, yet the majority of those deported have only minor convictions, or no convictions whatsoever. Deportations have reached an annual national average of nearly 400,000 people since 2009.
The resolution also urges Congress to increase funding for resettlement services, to support family unity with the passage of comprehensive immigration reform that eliminates visa backlogs and to give immigration judges discretion in immigration and deportation proceedings.
Finally, the resolution calls on the City of Seattle to redouble efforts to inform the immigrant and refugee community of their legal rights and Seattle’s policies related to their immigration status, including options to qualify for different types of immigration status. Read more
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In July, Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested trying to board a plane for L.A. for a screening of his film “Documented,” about his life before and after he “outed” himself as an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. for decades. For the first time since he began living openly without papers in 2011, he will have to appear before an immigration judge. In the meantime, he continues his Define American campaign, challenging this country to acknowledge him and those like him as Americans. And he’s moving back to California from the East Coast, to the state where he grew up and one of 11 in the country that will issue him an honest-to-goodness driver’s license.
What happens to you now?
There’s no date yet. As you know, immigration courts are so backed up, I don’t know how long that’s going to take.
So, paradoxically, your only official U.S. document now is for a court date?
You’ve written that your high profile protects you.
I fly with my Filipino passport that doesn’t have a visa. I have been traveling all across the country going through airport security. I get to south Texas and realize I’m trapped; I didn’t know there would be Border Patrol agents at the airport. What do I do? I write an essay for Politico that I’m trapped! Read more