Immigrant groups to hold protest march

by Kobakila News

NEW YORK (Apr. 16) — Several local immigrant community groups will be marching together for immigrant rights on Sunday April 19, from 69th St. and Roosevelt in Woodside to 83rd St. and Roosevelt in Jackson Heights.

Called “March for Dignity and Workers,” the event will highlight the plight of immigrant day laborers who, they say, have been harassed constantly by the police. The groups will also emphasize the case of Shirley Tan, an undocumented Filipino lesbian mother in California who faces deportation from the United States.

Tan has been in the U.S. for 23 years and has two 12 year-old sons born in the U.S. She is being deported because her case for asylum was denied and was told to leave by 2002.  However, she has been in domestic partnership to a naturalized citizen since since 2004.  Because same-sex partnership do not have the same rights as heterosexual partnerships where naturalization can occur, Tan remains undocumented.

The Immigration and Ciustoms Enforcement (ICE) has opened her case again in January and Tan was given a monitoring device on her leg.  She was also told to report to the offices of the ICE three times a week.

The groups claim that in October 2008, 10 day laborers were arrested along 69th St. and 37th Ave. for standing on the sidewalk.  In Jackson Heights on 84th St., immigrant workers have been allegedly scammed by a local recruitment agency where they have charged workers over $100 without any available work in return.

The March for Dignity and Workers’ Rights has been organized by local immigrant groups including Jornaleros Unidos of Woodside, Philippine Forum, Sisa Pikari Labor Center, Anakbayan NY/NJ, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, BAYAN USA, May 1st Coalition, International Ecuadorean Association, No Raids Committee in Queens, and Nodutdol.

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