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(Illegal) Day laborers build solidarity network

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Filed: Country: Belarus
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Day laborers build solidarity network

Group will fight wage theft and urge better pay, work conditions

By JAMES PINKERTON

2008 Houston Chronicle

For thousands of day laborers in Houston, picking up a good-paying job on a local street corner can be a struggle.

The housing market's slowdown has made work scarce. Day laborers also say employers often offer them one wage but pay less when the job is done. Other employers string workers along for days with a promise to pay, and then vanish.

That's why Mexican immigrant Jacinto Vasquez has joined the Houston Network of Day Laborers, formed over the weekend by approximately 200 day laborers.

Their goal is to improve working conditions, set a minimum wage they'll agree to work for and fight wage theft.

''I have a good opinion of the group," said Vasquez, an undocumented worker who moved here from Mexico in 1999. ''If this brings us support, it would be good ... for all of us."

The issue of day laborers in Houston and around the country has been a flashpoint in the debate over illegal immigration, largely because most of the workers are undocumented.

The newly formed Houston group is part of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, based in Los Angeles, which has set up similar networks around the country.

3,000 day workers

The local day labor group was established at a Saturday conference with help from Houston immigrant rights group America Para Todos, said organizer Maria Jimenez.

Next month, the Houston network will convene to form a leadership group, drawn from representatives of various street-corner hiring locations.

Houston has an estimated 3,000 day workers who frequent 29 street intersections looking for work, Jimenez said. The off-the-books labor force swells to 5,000 on the weekends, she said.

Jimenez, a longtime immigration activist, said the network is needed because day laborers face myriad problems.

''The network is important to bring together day laborers from the different sites to articulate their collective voice, identify their needs, express their rights and define their strategies," she said.

Group denounced

But the group was denounced by Houston activists lobbying for stricter immigration enforcement.

''That's not the American dream, to have people come here and get cheaper and cheaper wages," said Louise Whiteford, president of Texans for Immigration Reform. ''That's what the big corporations want: to eliminate the middle class."

Whiteford questioned the security consequences of workers in the city without valid documents.

''We have a terror situation," she said. "Why do we want people we don't know floating around the city?"

However, Jimenez said some day laborers can legally work.

''Not all don't have documents," she said. ''Some are U.S. citizens; some are legal residents; and some are Central Americans with temporary work permits. What you have to understand is they are day workers who fulfill a function in the economy."

Day laborers, including Vasquez, say they now have somewhere to turn for help.

''There is no other alternative," he said. ''Who do we make a complaint to when we're cheated? The police won't believe us."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metrop...an/5685736.html


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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i think i've seen this before :unsure:


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: Country: Belarus
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i think i've seen this before :unsure:

So did I. It is an update to the story that ran earlier this week in the Houston Comical. If I gotta read this stupid ####### 2 days in a row when I open the morning newspaper...so do you! :P


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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i think i've seen this before :unsure:

So did I. It is an update to the story that ran earlier this week in the Houston Comical. If I gotta read this stupid ####### 2 days in a row when I open the morning newspaper...so do you! :P

one would think with all these articles there people would wake up.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: Country: Brazil
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i think i've seen this before :unsure:

So did I. It is an update to the story that ran earlier this week in the Houston Comical. If I gotta read this stupid ####### 2 days in a row when I open the morning newspaper...so do you! :P

one would think with all these articles there people would wake up.

it needs to be repeated for all those who like to bury their heads in the sand ...

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Panama
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Day laborers build solidarity network

Group will fight wage theft and urge better pay, work conditions

By JAMES PINKERTON

2008 Houston Chronicle

For thousands of day laborers in Houston, picking up a good-paying job on a local street corner can be a struggle.

The housing market's slowdown has made work scarce. Day laborers also say employers often offer them one wage but pay less when the job is done. Other employers string workers along for days with a promise to pay, and then vanish.

That's why Mexican immigrant Jacinto Vasquez has joined the Houston Network of Day Laborers, formed over the weekend by approximately 200 day laborers.

Their goal is to improve working conditions, set a minimum wage they'll agree to work for and fight wage theft.

''I have a good opinion of the group," said Vasquez, an undocumented worker who moved here from Mexico in 1999. ''If this brings us support, it would be good ... for all of us."

The issue of day laborers in Houston and around the country has been a flashpoint in the debate over illegal immigration, largely because most of the workers are undocumented.

The newly formed Houston group is part of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, based in Los Angeles, which has set up similar networks around the country.

3,000 day workers

The local day labor group was established at a Saturday conference with help from Houston immigrant rights group America Para Todos, said organizer Maria Jimenez.

Next month, the Houston network will convene to form a leadership group, drawn from representatives of various street-corner hiring locations.

Houston has an estimated 3,000 day workers who frequent 29 street intersections looking for work, Jimenez said. The off-the-books labor force swells to 5,000 on the weekends, she said.

Jimenez, a longtime immigration activist, said the network is needed because day laborers face myriad problems.

''The network is important to bring together day laborers from the different sites to articulate their collective voice, identify their needs, express their rights and define their strategies," she said.

Group denounced

But the group was denounced by Houston activists lobbying for stricter immigration enforcement.

''That's not the American dream, to have people come here and get cheaper and cheaper wages," said Louise Whiteford, president of Texans for Immigration Reform. ''That's what the big corporations want: to eliminate the middle class."

Whiteford questioned the security consequences of workers in the city without valid documents.

''We have a terror situation," she said. "Why do we want people we don't know floating around the city?"

However, Jimenez said some day laborers can legally work.

''Not all don't have documents," she said. ''Some are U.S. citizens; some are legal residents; and some are Central Americans with temporary work permits. What you have to understand is they are day workers who fulfill a function in the economy."

Day laborers, including Vasquez, say they now have somewhere to turn for help.

''There is no other alternative," he said. ''Who do we make a complaint to when we're cheated? The police won't believe us."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metrop...an/5685736.html

All I know is if I was in a country illegally,I would try to lay as low as possible.Not go marching up and down demanding stuff that I am not entitled to in the first place.I don't know that's just me.


May 7,2007-USCIS received I-129f
July 24,2007-NOA1 was received
April 21,2008-K-1 visa denied.
June 3,2008-waiver filed at US Consalate in Panama
The interview went well,they told him it will take another 6 months for them to adjudicate the waiver
March 3,2009-US Consulate claims they have no record of our December visit,nor Manuel's interview
March 27,2009-Manuel returned to the consulate for another interrogation(because they forgot about December's interview),and they were really rude !
April 3,2009-US Counsalate asks for more court documents that no longer exist !
June 1,2009-Manuel and I go back to the US consalate AGAIN to give them a letter from the court in Colon along with documents I already gave them last year.I was surprised to see they had two thick files for his case !


June 15,2010-They called Manuel in to take his fingerprints again,still no decision on his case!
June 22,2010-WAIVER APPROVED at 5:00pm
July 19,2010-VISA IN MANUELITO'S HAND at 3:15pm!
July 25,2010-Manuelito arrives at 9:35pm at Logan Intn'l Airport,Boston,MA
August 5,2010-FINALLY MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!
August 23,2010-Filed for AOS at the International Institute of RI $1400!
December 23,2010-Work authorization received.
January 12,2011-RFE

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
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All I know is if I was in a country illegally,I would try to lay as low as possible.Not go marching up and down demanding stuff that I am not entitled to in the first place.I don't know that's just me.

That's because you think logically. But by thinking logically, you probably wouldn't enter into a country illegally and attempt to remain there, either. So if you did that (and considered it perfectly fine), the next step in the process would probably be "demanding" your so-called rights, which of course is ludicrous, considering you're not a permanent resident or citizen.

These illegals probably think that because there will be so many of them marching, the law enforcement lacks the manpower to effectively arrest, detain and deport them. Even if they could, doing so would reflect poorly on the city's leaders, all of whom desperately want to gain and keep the much-desired Hispanic vote. It's no secret how sympathetic most Hispanic Americans are to illegal Mexicans, right?

I really find that odd, too. Considering the fact that majority of Hispanic Americans are here legally, why would they want illegal Mexicans? The Hispanic Americans who're permanent residents or citizens had to become such the hard way or even if they were born here, still have to be part of the system, as opposed to illegals. Then assuming "white" Americans can't tell the difference from one Hispanic to another (especially a legal and illegal one), why would Hispanic Americans want other permanent residents and citizens mistaking them for illegal aliens when they're not? It seems counter-productive.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Panama
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All I know is if I was in a country illegally,I would try to lay as low as possible.Not go marching up and down demanding stuff that I am not entitled to in the first place.I don't know that's just me.

That's because you think logically. But by thinking logically, you probably wouldn't enter into a country illegally and attempt to remain there, either. So if you did that (and considered it perfectly fine), the next step in the process would probably be "demanding" your so-called rights, which of course is ludicrous, considering you're not a permanent resident or citizen.

These illegals probably think that because there will be so many of them marching, the law enforcement lacks the manpower to effectively arrest, detain and deport them. Even if they could, doing so would reflect poorly on the city's leaders, all of whom desperately want to gain and keep the much-desired Hispanic vote. It's no secret how sympathetic most Hispanic Americans are to illegal Mexicans, right?

I really find that odd, too. Considering the fact that majority of Hispanic Americans are here legally, why would they want illegal Mexicans? The Hispanic Americans who're permanent residents or citizens had to become such the hard way or even if they were born here, still have to be part of the system, as opposed to illegals. Then assuming "white" Americans can't tell the difference from one Hispanic to another (especially a legal and illegal one), why would Hispanic Americans want other permanent residents and citizens mistaking them for illegal aliens when they're not? It seems counter-productive.

And it is indeed,counter-productive.I really get so sick and tired of being called a "sell out" because I am not a supporter of illegal immigration.The reason why many are so bold is because there are tons of advocacy groups(The Catholic Dioscese is #1) who support them wholeheartedly and tell them that Americans are "big bad racists." for not wanting them here.


May 7,2007-USCIS received I-129f
July 24,2007-NOA1 was received
April 21,2008-K-1 visa denied.
June 3,2008-waiver filed at US Consalate in Panama
The interview went well,they told him it will take another 6 months for them to adjudicate the waiver
March 3,2009-US Consulate claims they have no record of our December visit,nor Manuel's interview
March 27,2009-Manuel returned to the consulate for another interrogation(because they forgot about December's interview),and they were really rude !
April 3,2009-US Counsalate asks for more court documents that no longer exist !
June 1,2009-Manuel and I go back to the US consalate AGAIN to give them a letter from the court in Colon along with documents I already gave them last year.I was surprised to see they had two thick files for his case !


June 15,2010-They called Manuel in to take his fingerprints again,still no decision on his case!
June 22,2010-WAIVER APPROVED at 5:00pm
July 19,2010-VISA IN MANUELITO'S HAND at 3:15pm!
July 25,2010-Manuelito arrives at 9:35pm at Logan Intn'l Airport,Boston,MA
August 5,2010-FINALLY MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!
August 23,2010-Filed for AOS at the International Institute of RI $1400!
December 23,2010-Work authorization received.
January 12,2011-RFE

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Filed: Country: Belarus
Timeline
All I know is if I was in a country illegally,I would try to lay as low as possible.Not go marching up and down demanding stuff that I am not entitled to in the first place.I don't know that's just me.

That's because you think logically. But by thinking logically, you probably wouldn't enter into a country illegally and attempt to remain there, either. So if you did that (and considered it perfectly fine), the next step in the process would probably be "demanding" your so-called rights, which of course is ludicrous, considering you're not a permanent resident or citizen.

These illegals probably think that because there will be so many of them marching, the law enforcement lacks the manpower to effectively arrest, detain and deport them. Even if they could, doing so would reflect poorly on the city's leaders, all of whom desperately want to gain and keep the much-desired Hispanic vote. It's no secret how sympathetic most Hispanic Americans are to illegal Mexicans, right?

I really find that odd, too. Considering the fact that majority of Hispanic Americans are here legally, why would they want illegal Mexicans? The Hispanic Americans who're permanent residents or citizens had to become such the hard way or even if they were born here, still have to be part of the system, as opposed to illegals. Then assuming "white" Americans can't tell the difference from one Hispanic to another (especially a legal and illegal one), why would Hispanic Americans want other permanent residents and citizens mistaking them for illegal aliens when they're not? It seems counter-productive.

And it is indeed,counter-productive.I really get so sick and tired of being called a "sell out" because I am not a supporter of illegal immigration.The reason why many are so bold is because there are tons of advocacy groups(The Catholic Dioscese is #1) who support them wholeheartedly and tell them that Americans are "big bad racists." for not wanting them here.

I know it is a drop in the bucket when compared to Hispanics, but there are quite a lot of people from the former USSR here in Houston that are here illegally. My wife and stepdaughter tell me about the ones in the circle of Russian speakers they run across here at Slavic gathering places. I have met some myself even before my wife arrived here. I don't sympathize with any of them at all. I certainly don't support or help them. Many lie to get visas and then overstay. They are illegal aliens just like the border jumpers and deserve deportation like the rest of the illegal aliens. The fact that my wife is Russian and my grandparents were Byelorussians doesn't garner any sympathy from me.

I certainly wouldn't make excuses for them like some here on VJ do. Life is certainly rough in the former USSR just like it is in many parts of Latin America and other areas of the world. My mom's relatives that I met over there have a rough life, but they survive and get by. Many of my relatives have lived through a lot worst than the Latinos that are here illegally. Breaking another country's laws to seeking a better life is no more of an excuse than me breaking the law here to get a better standard of living. A vast majority of illegal aliens in the USA never were in a life threatening situation and are not refugees. They do not qualify as refugees.

That is one reason I get hardcore with the Hispanic LPR's and citizens that actively cheerlead for illegal aliens. They cry about racism, but they wouldn't give a rat's azz about them if 80+% of illegal aliens weren't Hispanic. It is definitely about La Raza. To deny it is being less than honest (and I'm being too kind with that description). They themselves are the racists and play the race card to the gullible, guilt ridden, and ignorant that are suceptable that lame line of logic. Hispanics have no more right to illegally immigrate than anyone else. These people are "illegal aliens" and are not "immigrants" as often described in news stories.

The Houston Chronicle (which is the mouthpiece of the chamber of commerce) is the worst offender in its deceptive reporting. "Illegal aliens" are "immigrants" and anyone against mass illegal immigration is "anti-immigrant". These illegal alien cheerleaders lie to further their own narrow self serving agendas. Although they claim it, empathy and compassion have little to do with their core agendas. That's a fact.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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