Filipino Migrant Center Opposes New U.S. House Bill, “American Healthcare Act”: Healthcare Access for Millions of Families Threatened

For Immediate Release
May 9, 2017

The Filipino Migrant Center strongly opposes the passing of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the U.S. House of Representatives to replace the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare.”

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would enable states to allow insurance companies to increase the premiums of those who have so-called “pre-existing conditions,” which, according to the bill, includes pregnancy, stroke, diabetes, mental illnesses, different kinds of cancer, being victims of sexual assault, and heart diseases among others. The measure would affect funding for Medicaid, which currently helps provide health coverage to millions of low-income individuals. Additionally, the tax breaks available to families depending on their income will now be dependent on their ages, meaning older people can be charged more.

If passed in the Senate, the new policy would negatively affect many low-income members of our community who will not be able to afford insurance or health care access. It also disproportionately impacts women, the elderly, people with disabilities and immigrant families.

Healthcare should be a basic right provided to all, not just those who can afford it. The Filipino Migrant Center is committed to fighting for affordable and accessible healthcare for all of our communities. We urge the community, especially our fellow Filipinos to join us and other community organizations to prevent this harmful bill from passing the Senate. To learn more about how you might be impacted by this measure and how you can get involved, please contact us at: info@filipinomigrantcenter.org

Reference: Joanna Concepcion, Executive Director joanna@filipinomigrantcenter.org

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Filipino Migrant Center Stands with Immigrant, Refugee and Muslim communities

Filipino Migrant Center Stands with Immigrant, Refugee and Muslim communities

Filipino Migrant Center Stands with Immigrant, Refugee and Muslim communities 

Filipino Migrant Center rejects President Trump’s immigration executive orders attacking and criminalizing immigrants, refugees and Muslim communities.

The executive orders calls for the suspension of refugee programs and limits the number of refugees the United States it welcomes, bans entry of individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen). Furthermore, it aims to punish cities who pledge to provide sanctuary and protection to undocumented immigrants, increase resources to carry out mass immigration enforcement and deportation on the national and local level and construct a border wall.

As a community organization serving the Filipino immigrant community in Southern California, we stand in solidarity with the thousands of advocates, community groups and organizations, elected officials and majority of the American public in denouncing these orders which have already resulted in human rights violations this past weekend. Hundreds of individuals were illegally detained in various major airports throughout the country,  prevented from boarding the plane headed for the U.S., and prevented from receiving legal counsel. Many were legal permanent residents.

The recent pronouncements made by President Trump only promotes and legitimizes irrational acts of hate, violence, discrimination, bullying and harassment of our communities.

Our communities continue to suffer from harmful mischaracterizations that portray us as threats to the economy, national security and public safety of the country. We are witnessing the detrimental impacts these have on our children. Discriminatory, xenophobic, and unjust policies and laws targeting immigrants, refugees and Muslims in the United States are not new. They have historically been used as weapons to divide our communities and distract us from the real threats–those who are responsible for and benefit from the systematic oppression of our Black, Brown and poor, working class communities.

We oppose the impending mass deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants that will break apart thousands of families, leaving children without their parents. They are not criminals but a resilient and courageous people who have experienced great sacrifices to keep their families alive.

We are against the policing of our communities and demand that the planned increased resources for immigration enforcement must be re-directed towards education, health care and other severely underfunded social services.

We believe in respecting the rights and humanity of all people regardless of religion, national origin, legal status, race, ethnicity and gender.
The Filipino Migrant Center is committed to continue providing education, resources and support to Filipino immigrant families in Southern California. We encourage members of the Filipino community to join us in raising our voices, organizing and building our collective power in solidarity with other vulnerable communities to uphold and defend the rights of all immigrant, refugee and Muslim families.

Message to our kababayan regarding the U.S. elections

Dear Kababayan,

We know that many of our fellow Filipinos, or kababayans, are worried about what can happen after the elections here in the US. Our undocumented Filipino kababayans are wondering whether they can still stay here or if they will be deported. Others are already experiencing cases of being insulted or harassed. Families are in danger of being separated.

These experiences are not new to some of us. However, the situation is more extreme these days and policies that can directly affect them might be passed in the following years. We are expecting that there will be more attacks towards the undocumented, that there will be more laws that are harmful towards workers, and that there can be an increase in cases of harassment and attacks towards our community, other migrant communities, and people of color.

We want all of you to know that Filipino Migrant Center is here for you. If you need any kind of support, resources, someone to talk to, or are concerned about your safety, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to help you. If you are looking for ways to help others, you may also contact us.

We also call on everyone to support each other. At this moment, it is very important to be come together to protect our fellow Filipinos, especially undocumented who are most affected. Together, we can face any challenge hurled at our community.

Long live migrant Filipinos!

Filipino Migrant Center

Hotline: 818-519-2251
Email: filipinomigrantcenter@gmail.com
Facebook: Filipino Migrant Center

Click for Tagalog translation

Long Beach Filipinos support $15 minimum wage and protections against wage theft

WITH over 30,000 Filipinos living in Long Beach, conversations about raising the minimum wage and wage enforcement in the city are important issues to the Filipino community.

Most Filipinos in Long Beach have settled in Westside Long Beach, an area tucked in between the 710 freeway and the bustling Port of Long Beach. Filipinos living in Westside Long Beach largely work low-wage jobs in the health and service industries. Raising the minimum wage would undoubtedly create a positive impact in the Filipino community.

According to data from Long Beach Rising: A City that Works for Everyone by the Economic Roundtable, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would affect 17,000 Long Beach residents who work in the city. An increase in wages would help nearly over 6,500 Long Beach workers rise out of poverty by 2020. In addition to providing a living wage for residents working in the city, the minimum wage policy should include earned paid sick days so workers do not have to make the choice between going to work sick or staying home and not getting paid. Workers should also receive stronger protection against wage theft, which includes being underpaid and being denied overtime or breaks.

In November 2015, the Filipino Migrant Center surveyed 110 Westside Long Beach residents about raising the minimum wage in Long Beach and their experiences with wage theft. Of the residents surveyed, 96 percent support the raising the minimum wage in Long Beach.

More than half of residents (62 percent) shared experiencing at least one form of wage theft, including being underpaid, denied breaks, and working overtime without pay. Respondents working as caregivers, restaurant servers, and health care workers shared personal experiences with wage theft. 41 percent of residents reported knowing someone who has experienced wage theft.

The high percentage of respondents stating they have experienced wage theft is not surprising.  Filipino immigrants and migrant workers working low-wage service jobs are some of the most vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace. Long Beach Filipino residents were overwhelmingly supportive of passing a policy to protect workers from wage theft.

As part of the Coalition to End Wage Theft and the Raise the Wage Coalition, the Filipino Migrant Center has been working collaboratively with other community organizations and members in a growing movement to end wage theft and raise the wage in Long Beach. We believe that all workers in Long Beach deserve better. As a part of a vibrant Filipino community, we must empower workers and uplift communities by passing a policy in Long Beach for a living wage, strong wage enforcement, guaranteed paid sick days, and no exemptions. Our families are depending on it.

Joanna Concepcion is the Executive Director of the Filipino Migrant Center, a non-profit organization based in Long Beach, California that serves Filipinos throughout Southern California and addresses the issues and concerns they face in their daily lives. n

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Joanna Concepcion is the executive director of the Filipino Migrant Center, a non-profit organization based in Long Beach, California that serves Filipinos throughout Southern California and addresses issues and concerns they face in their daily lives.

– See more at: http://asianjournal.com/editorial/long-beach-filipinos-support-15-minimum-wage-and-protections-against-wage-theft/#sthash.ZuMHONIE.dpuf

Long Beach continues holding forums for wage increases

http://www.balitangamerica.tv/long-beach-continues-holding-forums-for-wage-increases/

Long Beach continues holding forums for wage increases

LONG BEACH, Calif. – As the push to increase the minimum wage continues nationwide, elected officials in a major Southern California city are taking a grass roots approach. Steve Angeles tells us how the city of Long Beach is tackling the issue of living wages.

 

Advancing Justice – LA Launches Workers’ Rights Clinic with Filipino Migrant Center in Long Beach, CA

http://www.advancingjustice-la.org/blog/advancing-justice-la-launches-workers-rights-clinic-filipino-migrant-center-long-beach-ca#.VjQulKIb5ow

In partnership with the Filipino Migrant Center, Advancing Justice – LA will launch regularly held workers’ rights clinics, with a focus on wage and hour law, in Long Beach, CA. The launch of this clinic continues Advancing Justice – LA’s programmatic expansion and commitment to providing a larger array of free legal services to low-income, Asian immigrant workers. The first clinic will be held on Wednesday, June 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Filipino Migrant Center located at 2325 E. 3rd Street, Long Beach, CA 90814. Volunteers will conduct extensive in-language intake as well as provide free legal advice and counsel. Where appropriate, clinic participants will receive additional legal representation, including assistance in the administrative wage claim process, or civil court process. The clinic can assist undocumented workers. Reservations are highly encouraged: (562) 438-9515 or (310) 421-8362.

 

Filipino Migrant Center takes part in NAFCON General Assembly

Filipino American Alliance Celebrates 10 Years of Service

LONG BEACH, CA — On October 10 to 12, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), an alliance of thirty-one organizations throughout the United States, celebrated its more than 10 years of serving and protecting the Filipino community in the U.S. and around the world.

In sync with the celebration of its “Dekada” (10 in Filipino), the alliance successfully gathered more than one hundred and fifty Filipino leaders and community’s supporters for its 3rd General Assembly. The tri-annual occasion is held so the many organizations of the alliance can plan its work ahead as well as elect its new leaders for the coming three years.

NAFCON however, did not stop there. To further commemorate its milestone moment, the alliance also released a document entitled “Ten Years, Ten Victories” which enumerates 10 key victories that NAFCON has achieved since its inception. One of the alliance’s most recent and notable victories included the raising of more than 1 million dollars for Typhoon Haiyan victims. The significant amount of money NAFCON collected was allocated directly to several trusted partners and people’s organizations on the ground in the Philippines. These funds were immediately used for emergency relief assistance at the height of the typhoon’s aftermath.

May Vargas of BALSA Mindanao, one of NAFCON’s main relief and rehabilitation organizational partners in the Philippines, affirmed the immediate and continuing impact of NAFCON’s work. Vargas had traveled from Mindanao, her home, to attend the General Assembly and serve as one of its key speakers.

“To date, NAFCON supports a lot of farming communities in Typhoon Haiyan devastated areas in their efforts to rebuild their communities, especially in terms of sustainable agriculture and organic farming. NAFCON was the first to respond when we called for help when Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao and Haiyan in the Visayas. Two weeks after Haiyan hit, we were the first to deliver a comprehensive intervention and the first to let the children laugh and play after a major catastrophe changed their lives. More than 50 peasant indigenous communities now have their own farms to till and they are trained on agricultural sustainability.” Vargas said.

In addition to its efforts around relief and rehabilitation, another one of NAFCON’s key victories is holding high its candle and continuing to serve the interests of Filipino migrants here in the U.S. Terrence Valen, NAFCON President described examples of the alliance’s commitment toward protecting its community.

“That is what it has been, NAFCON standing together with workers on the streets, in churches, in communities, in schools, in workplaces focusing on issues such as migrant rights. We hosted the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) just this passed year in New York at the United Nations,” Valen said.

Valen also spoke of NAFCON’s involvement in working to unite and connect the struggles of Filipino migrants to that of other migrant communities from around the world. NAFCON has done this is through hosting national and international gatherings, such as IAMR, that discuss, tackle, and seek to develop a stronger community effort around the challenges Filipinos and non-Filipinos face together. NAFCON’s ability to convene large gatherings of representatives from throughout the Filipino community and beyond was another example of its significant victories.

Bernadette Herrera, a Filipino mother who survived many years of being undocumented in the U.S., also former NAFCON Vice President, emboldened the alliance to continue to advance its work and meet the major challenges ahead. Herrera, speaking from the heart, addressed the inability of the current Philippine government to provide a positive future for the Filipino people. “I am only one out of the 4,500 who leave the Philippines everyday yearning to give a better future for our family because the Philippine government has not been able to.” Herrera said.

Dr. Leni Jara of the Council for Health and Development in the Philippines, another one of NAFCON’s relief partners who attended the assembly, emphasized the deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the Philippines. “400,000 nurses in the Philippines do not have jobs. Majority of them are employed in call centers. We know that the problem of the Philippines has been going on for over a hundred years. We have been providing health services for peasants, fisherfolks and workers for 40 years and the situation is the same and even worsening” Jara said.

Valen, explained the meaning of the weekend’s theme, “Celebrate our Unity” and “Win More Victories.” He shared that it was important to recognize what the alliance has accomplished and then said, “We have to advance and win more victories to sustain our work and actually grow and build the strength of NAFCON, but more importantly, our communities.”

In closing, Valen also made sure to offer appreciation for the host of the large gathering. Valen said, “The Grace United Methodist Church was gracious to host us all of the church leaders and church members, students, youth, women, all sectors of our community coming together to celebrate our unity and win more victories!”

The event which took place in Long Beach, CA brought together many of the most important Filipino leaders from key areas throughout the country including New York, Bay Area, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Southern California.

NAFCON looks ahead towards activities and events marking the significance of Typhoon Haiyan’s One Year Anniversary on November 8th, 2014. The alliance is expected to launch the second phase of its Environmental Justice for the Philippines campaign with the “Adopt a Communities” program.

For more information on NAFCON and its 10 Victories go to www.nafconusa.org, email info@nafconusa.org or call 415.333.6267. ###

http://asianjournal.com/entertainment/filipino-migrant-centers-celebrates-5th-anniversary/

 

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