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The Justicia Ahora Project 2013

Position Statement on Immigrants’ and Farmworkers’ Rights & The Need for a Fair and Just Comprehensive Immigration Reform

FARMWORKER ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA
April 24, 2013
The Farmworker Association of Florida commends the introduction of the U.S. Senate immigration reform bill – the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.  While we laud the bipartisan efforts on the bill and recognize this milestone in the fight for immigrants’ rights, we also stand firm in the position that comprehensive immigration reform efforts must take into account and include the following:
  • Family unity and reunification, and a moratorium on deportation of immigrants
  • An end to the harassment and racial profiling of immigrants
  • Observance of and respect  for the human rights of immigrants
  • A pathway to citizenship and adjustment of legal status that is not overly burdensome, that does not require a return to one’s home country, that provides protections during the citizenship process, and that protects family members as well as applicants for citizenship
  • Workers’ rights of the farmworker labor force and other low-wage immigrant workers, including protection under all labor rights, and fair and equal rights for domestic and foreign workers
  • An guestworker program in which foreign agricultural guestworkers enjoy all the rights of domestic workers, including the right to immigrate to the U.S. with their families and the right to change employers once they are in this country
  • Recognition of the root causes of immigration and the impact of U.S. trade policies on the lives of poor people in other countries
The Farmworker Association of Florida recognizes that even the best immigration policy in the world does not address the underlying systemic problems of the current agricultural system that keeps farmworkers in conditions of poverty and vulnerability.  While immigration reform is a first step to adjust the status of workers currently in this country, dignity and justice for farmworkers is an ongoing effort that will require the work of many and the national political will to address.
Immigrant farmworkers are among the most vulnerable and exploited workers in our society.  Although they endure back-breaking work in extreme weather and chronic exposure to pesticides and dangerous working conditions to put food on our tables, all for deplorable wages, they are frequently the victims of discrimination, exploitation, and maltreatment.  In current times of heightened and divisive anti-immigrant sentiment, immigrant farmworkers and other immigrant low-wage earners, regardless of immigration status, often live in fear of job loss, detention and deportation, and family separation.  Afraid to speak out about the injustices they experience, immigrants bear abuses in their communities and in their workplaces as the cost of being undocumented in this country.  Immigrant farmworkers provide the labor that supports Florida’s agricultural industry and that keeps food prices low.  These workers and their families, who contribute significantly to American society and economy, deserve to live as equals, not lesser-thans, and to pursue their dreams of a better life.  For this reason, the Farmworker Association of Florida continues to persist in the fight for immigrants’ rights and for fair and just comprehensive immigration reform. 

4th Woman to Woman Conference 2013

4th Annual Woman to Woman Conference a Resounding Success!
View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=140#sigProGalleria1af688797a
“This was the best year ever!”
  That is what we heard from many of the over 45 women from the local farmworker community that attended the Fourth Annual Woman to Woman Conference that was held in Apopka on Saturday, April 13 from noon to 6pm.   Thanks to the amazing partnership between the Farmworker Association and the University of Central Florida Women’s Studies Department, especially Director Maria Santana, the conference was able to offer both a lunch and a full dinner to the women and children at the conference, as well as to give gift bags filled with personal care items to each of the participants. 
This year, in addition to well-attended and engaging workshops on the topics of Women’s Health, Domestic Violence, Personal Finances, Parenting Skills and Immigration, the women heard the inspiring and empowering words of Keynote Speaker Marie José Francois of Community Health Centers, Inc. speaking on the power of women. 

Going to DC... Si se Puede!

Great support from the Florida delegation in DC for today's HUGE immigration reform rally.
SWER, Dreamer's Moms, FWAF, Miami Workers Center and many other FLIC members and friends jumped on the bus yesterday at 2p.m.

 

Si Se Puede!

Farmworker Association of Florida Sends Delegation to Washington DC
On the Agenda: Fair Immigration Reform for Farmworkers
 
Staff, leadership and community members of the Farmworker Association of Florida are in Washington DC this week to advocate for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that is fair to farmworkers.  Negotiations on CIR have stalled in the Senate largely over the issue of fair pay for farmworkers and details of an agreement over the H2A or 'guestworker' program.  No immigration reform bill will be a truly equitable and just law if farmworkers are left out of a plan that treats them with fairness and justice!  That is why FWAF sent carloads of farmworkers and community members to our nation's Capitol to speak with our elected officials in Congress and to let them hear farmworkers' stories face to face!
 
Over the weekend, women farmworkers from South Florida attended special sessions and Congressional visits to speak specifically on behalf of farmworker women across the U.S.  Thanks to our staff and community members in Homestead and Florida City for representing women farmworkers in Florida for all of us!
 
Now is the time to make your voice heard!  These are CRUCIAL DAYS in the decision making that can determine the future for hundreds of thousands and millions of farmworkers across the country.  Don't wait to contact your Senators and Congressional representatives to show your support for an immigration bill that includes NO reduction in pay for farmworkers and NO guestworker program that diminishes protections for farmworkers already here and those recruited from other countries.  SPEAK UP NOW!
 
And, THANK YOU!

 

Farm workers to support immigration reform

Farm workers and their families to travel from Florida to our nation’s Capital to support immigration reform effort
 
Apopka, FL – More than 100 farm workers, students and families of undocumented immigrants are headed to Capitol Hill on April 7 to lobby members of Congress to support an immigration process that includes a path to citizenship for farm workers and the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
 
The delegation, including 15 farmworker members of the Farmworker Association of Florida, and comprised of farm workers, their sons and daughters and DACA recipients from around the county will be traveling from other states, including California, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio and Minnesota to Washington, D.C. on April 7.
 
The tentative agenda for the delegation is as follows:
 
o   April 7th – Members of the farmworker delegation arrive in D.C.
o   April 8-9th– Legislative visits with members of Congress (House and Senate)
o   April 10th–  Joining "California Immigration Table" breakfast with over 200 Californian leaders and CA members of Congress
o   April 10th– 3 pm–6pm: Alliance for Citizenship Rally at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

Homestead campaign for Citizenship

 Watch the video reporting 

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Immigration Reform

Thursday, April 4th at 4:00pm
100 East Sybelia Ave.,
Maitland, FL 32751

Faith, Families & Farm Workers
Come Together to Ask Congressman Mica to
Say Yes to Immigration Reform with a Path to Citizenship,
Say Yes to Keeping Families Together &
Say Yes to Our Community!

For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or visit our facebook page

Thanks for the 6th General Assembly

On Sunday, March 17, 2013, FWAF held its 6th General Assembly in the farmworker community of Apopka, Florida.  The purpose of the statewide General Assembly, held every five years, is to:
 
Refocus on FWAF’s mission, vision, and objectives.
Identify and prioritize issues impacting farmworker communities, as presented by local delegations from each of the Farmworker Association’s five regional areas.
Reorganize the priorities of the Farmworker Association, based on community-identified issues, to direct FWAF’s work for the next five years.
The top three priority issues impacting farmworkers and low-income immigrants, as identified by FWAF’s communities, include:  immigration and the need for immigration reform; health and safety in the workplace/pesticide exposure; and economic issues, such as the need for better wages and benefits.  The General Assembly was attended by approximately 300 persons, which included farmworker families, as well as representatives from supportive organizations, including:  Rural Coalition, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Pesticide Action Network of North America, United Farm Workers, Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, State Voices – Florida, National Farm Worker Ministry, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Legal Services, El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas, National Immigrant Farming Initiative, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, War on Poverty – Florida, and La Via Campesina of North America.  In addition, 2013 marks the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Farmworker Association of Florida!  We are proud to be celebrating 30 years of positive and constructive work in, with, and for farmworker communities around the state.   

General Assembly on March 17th

MARCH 17, 2013
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
John Bridges Community Center
445 W 13th St Apopka, FL 32703‎
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The General Assembly will advance FWAF’s mission to build power within farmworker and rural low-income communities to respond to and gain control over the social, political, economic, workplace, health, and environmental justice issues impacting their lives.
Celebrating 30 years - 1983 - 2013
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Whose Pastures of Plenty?

At food voices blog
Every year, thousands of people cross the border from Mexico into the United States to find work in fields that stretch from Maine to Michigan to California to Florida. Each individual's story is different, yet they all come with a dream of a better life. Unfortunately, many struggle while basic human rights are withheld.  The first tenet of food sovereignty is that food is a basic human right. "Food: A Basic Human Right. Everyone must have access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in sufficient quantity and quality to sustain a healthy life with full human dignity."

Farmworker women raising their voice

Vigilia a favor del amor
Unamonos por los derechos de la mujer campesina
Febrero 14, at 450 Davis Park Ave.
Florida City, Fl 33034
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Giving Thanks to Farmworkers Dinner

The Farmworker Association of Florida Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Ethnic food, entertainment, displays, conversation, and solidarity
St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church
Winter Park, FL
for more information, contact 407-886-5151
or email Chris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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The Human Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

(by Rosa ramirez, at National Journal)

 

1: At least one farm laborer dies each day while picking fruits and vegetables for U.S. consumption.

2%: The share of unionized farmworkers in the U.S.

$10,000: The starting average individual income for a farmworker is between $10,000 and $12,499, while the family household income is between $15,000 and $17,499.

 

Americans pay relatively little for fresh fruits and vegetables year round, in part because of the work done by farmworkers. But a new study by the Center for Progressive Reform titled “At the Company’s Mercy: Protecting Contingent Workers from Unsafe Working Conditions,” reveals the true human and economic cost of weak workplace regulations.

Immigrants Call for End to Deportations in U.S.

(article written By Jorge Bañales, taken from Latin American Herald Tribune)

 

WASHINGTON – Thirteen immigrants including a number of farm workers, who had traveled 1,600 kilometers (995 miles) in a caravan from Florida, called Tuesday in the U.S. capital for President Barack Obama to stop deportations and for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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