Filipino Migrant Center Stands with Undocumented Young People and Immigrant Families, Rejects Termination of DACA Program

Filipino Migrant Center Stands with Undocumented Young People and Immigrant Families, Rejects Termination of DACA Program

The Filipino Migrant Center (FMC) stands with the thousands of courageous undocumented young people throughout the U.S. who have been fighting for immigration relief for their families, and won the creation of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program in 2012 through an executive order by President Obama.

We condemn in the strongest terms the decision of the Trump administration to rescind the DACA program which has provided 800,000+ undocumented young people with temporary opportunities to work and protection from deportation. These young people have relied on DACA for the livelihood and survival of their families. They have become teachers, scientists, and leaders who have made positive contributions to our communities, and we are concerned for the severe and devastating impacts that the termination of the program will bring on the lives of our bright and talented young people.

The rescinding of DACA is a reflection of the anti-immigrant and racist character of the current administration. Despite the findings of 104 legal experts in August 2017 finding DACA as a legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion or executive power, the Trump administration insists on the unconstitutionality of DACA. We are angered by the lack of compassion, deliberate neglect of the human cost of immigration, and the same old rhetoric of blaming immigrants and undocumented people for the failures of our leaders to create a just economic and immigration system.

800,000+ young people have made enormous sacrifices to be able to pay and renew their DACA application and undergo extensive processes and background checks, risking coming out of the shadows for an opportunity to provide their families with a better future. We are concerned for their safety and well-being including their families as the Trump administration will continue to carry out unjust raids, arrests, detentions and deportations throughout the country, spreading fear and creating insecure communities.  

We join the nationwide movement to support undocumented young people, parents, workers, and immigrant families who are resisting and fighting for justice every day. We join the organizing efforts in California and locally in Long Beach, Carson, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County to end the criminalization of immigrants and undocumented people in the United States.

FMC will continue to support and organize Filipino immigrant families by providing them with education about the decision on DACA and other immigration policies that affect their lives, informing them about their rights and how to defend them. We will continue to work with community-based organizations, legal partners and supporters who are fighting for just and humane U.S. immigration system and addressing the root causes of migration.

We call on our elected officials in the state of California to pass SB54, the CA Values Act to ensure state and local enforcement agencies do not invest local resources in immigration enforcement. We also call on the Philippine government to provide concrete resources to aid its undocumented citizens, estimated at 1 million people.

We call on Filipino students, young people, educators, healthcare workers, faith leaders, and members of the Filipino community who want to lend their support and be part of the movement for immigrant rights, to contact us.

To access specific provisions of the the announcement, visit www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/memorandum-rescission-daca

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Filipino Migrant Center Stands Against White Supremacy and Racism

For Immediate Release 

August 25, 2017

The Filipino Migrant Center strongly rejects the violence, domestic terrorism and hatred seen last August 12 and 13 in Charlottesville, Virginia in the largest white supremacists gathering in recent U.S. history.

We stand in solidarity with thousands of Americans in denouncing the violent  of white supremacist and hate groups that left dozens injured and one person dead. We offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Heather Heyer, who was killed as she protested peacefully alongside many others against racism and discrimination.  We are deeply concerned for the rise in openly racist and violent actions throughout the country since President Trump took office. We fear the current administration promotes and legitimizes irrational acts of hate, violence, discrimination, bullying and harassment of marginalized communities.

The Charlottesville events reminds us of the legacy of racism in this country when Filipino migrant workers and communities from Yakima Valley, Washington to Watsonville, California faced discrimination, racism, and violence in the 1930s by whites who threatened them with violence.

In our pursuit for justice for working class communities who suffer the most under neoliberal economic policies,  we commit to working against racism, discrimination and oppression in all forms, including the different ways it manifests within our own communities, including anti-Blackness, anti-Muslim, homophobia, and xenophobia.

We encourage members of the Filipino community to join us in raising our voices and organizing in solidarity with other vulnerable communities to uphold and defend the rights of all working class, immigrant and communities of color against white supremacy and racism.

 

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

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