Tag Archives: Workers

AnakBayan-San Diego Marches in Solidarity to Demand Human Rights for All – Education, Legalization, Dignified Work

5 May

Press Statement
May 4, 2009
Reference: Ivan Penetrante: Chair, Maridel Andrada: Secretary General, AnakBayan-San Diego, email: anakbayansd@gmail.com
 
AnakBayan-San Diego Marches in Solidarity to Demand Human Rights for All – Education, Legalization, Dignified Work
 
San Diego—The San Diego chapter of AnakBayan or “Youth of the Nation,” a Filipino Youth and Student organization committed to movement for National democracy in the Philippines, marches with the May 1st Coalition of San Diego from City College to Chicano park, calling for an end to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, detentions and deportations; genuine immigration reform; and education for all.
 
Lead by a contingent of middle school youth, high school and college students, workers, documented and undocumented immigrants, the people comprised of over a dozen different organizations and affiliations commemorated International Workers’ Day by recognizing that all immigrants deserve rights as their rights are human rights.  The people united marched without fear on this one day whereas the other days many live in fear of being separated from family as a result of ICE raids, deportations and detentions while often surviving off menial jobs. 
 
Immigrants accept menial jobs overseas because in their homeland they are faced with the inability to support themselves and their families.  This is due in part to unequal political and economic relations under the system of neoliberal globalization.  Though rich in resources to sustain its people, the Philippines is one of the countries victimized by this unequal system, forcing people to flee the country.
 
More than 10 million Filipinos reside outside of the Philippines, sending home an average of $15-16 billion dollars in remittances, over half of which comes from the labor of more than four million Filipinos living in the United States.   One million remain undocumented, thus live in fear and do not experience the freedom and democracy that its politicians claim to practice. Most undocumented and exploited immigrants from all over the globe are forced to live in this American “nightmare” without looking back at the life of poverty and despair that they left behind.
 
On his 100th day in office, the masses challenged President Obama to live up to his rhetoric on the need to change the immigration system.  The inefficient backlog system in the U.S. that has Filipinos waiting as long as 10-15 years for approval of their petitions for migration via family sponsorship is one aspect that needs to be resolved in addition to the Gestapo-like raids by ICE, mass deportations and unlawful  detentions without due process.
 
As the world faces the current economic crisis, the struggles of oppressed migrant workers across the globe will intensify and shall not be overlooked as multinational corporations and big banks seek bailouts that should be dispersed among the people instead.  From this position, the only direction we should take is forward with the struggle for a just and humane immigration system free of exploitation and repression.
 
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS!
END ICE RAIDS, DETENTIONS AND DEPORTATIONS!
SWIFT FAMILY RE-UNIFICATION NOW! SCRAP THE IMMIGRANT BACKLOG!
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
BAIL OUT THE WORKERS, NOT THE BANKS!
 
AnakBayan-SD is a member organization of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or “New Patriotic Alliance” (BAYAN-USA), an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth.  As an international chapter of BAYAN-Philippines, it serves as an information bureau for the National Democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S.

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Rupert Estanislao on May 1st

4 May

SF CHRP – May 1st Statement (by Rupert Estanislao)

OFW = Overseas Filipina/o Worker

OFW = Overseas Filipina/o Worker

May 1st Press Statement
Rupert Estanislao,
SF Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

(English)
From childhood well into adulthood the bitter truth I learned is that I would never be able to grow old in the country of my origin.

I came to America at age fourteen in 1993.

My mother went ahead of the family and took up work as a dental assistant while my father was a security guard and a part time hotel manager.

In his homeland, my father was a lawyer; here he was a security guard at the courthouse.

My mother was a dentist with a practice in Metro Manila, but here her degrees and experience were dismissed and deemed inapplicable.

They kept their dignity and worked diligently no matter how meager the pay, no matter how racist or petty the boss.

Leaving for work everyday at three am and coming home past ten at night left no time to eat and sit with one another as a family.

I know their bosses took advantage of their status and they being accustomed to the corrupt system of the Philippines silently complied and turned a blind eye to the violation of their own rights.

Legal or illegal, they are still immigrants.

 

They are immigrants who left because the wealth and resources of their home were sold and auctioned during the time of martial law.

They are immigrants who left with the broken hope of having to witness the ravaging of the Philippines by U.S. military occupation.

They are immigrants and they are residents of the bay area who pay taxes to the government to help this economy thrive and prosper yet are scapegoated for society’s ills and the failure of the capitalist system.

I am one story in a million Diasporas of immigrants who leave their lands begrudgingly.

We leave because our government is overrun with the filthy rich and puppets of U.S. interest.

The root of all human rights violations is the affront of the United States to the sovereignty of the Philippines.

****************************

(Tagalog)
Mula ng ako’y musmos hanggang sa aking pagkabinata unti unti akong namulat sa katotohanan na hindi ako tatanda sa lupa kong tinunbuan.

Dumating ako sa Amerika noong 1993, katorse anyos pa lang ako.

Nauna ang aking ina at naging isang Dental Assistant, sumunod ang Tatay ko at nagdalawang trabaho siya bilang isang security guard at hotel manager para magpakain sa aming mag-ina. Abogado ang Tatay ko sa sarili niyang bansa, ngunit dito hanggang guardia lang siya sa corte. Ang Nanay ko ay isang dentista na may titulo sa aming lungsod ngunit dito hindi kinikilala ang kanyang tinapos.

Sapat ang kanilang sahod kahit masasakit ang sinabi ng amo nila, tintiiis at di nagpahalata ng galit.

Madaling araw sila umalis para unahan ang trapik.

Nakakauwi sila ng halos alas gis ng gabe.

Alam ko na pinagsasamantalahan ng mga amo ng nanay at tatay ko ang kanilang alanganin na kalagayan.

Ang nakasanayan nila na systema sa Pilipinas ay huwag umimik pag sinasaktan, huwag mag welga pag inaapi.

May papeles man o wala, sila’y migrante.

Mga migrante na umalis sa tinubuan na lupa dahil naubos ang yaman ng bansa noong panahon ng batas militar.

Migrante sila na umalis ng sawi, mga saksi sa pagsakop at paggahasa ng mga Amerikanong sondalo at militar sa bayan at sa mamayan.

Migrante sila na kabilang sa mamayan ng San Francisco bay area.

Migrante sila na nagbabayad ng buwis sa goberyno, sila ang nagpapatakbo sa ekonomiya, subalit sila ang binibintangan ng goberyno at medya kapag may mga suliranin ang lipunan.

Ang kwento ko ay hindi nagiisa, ito ang malungkot na kasaysayan ng mga migrante na sa pilit lumalakbay.

Umalis kame dahil ang mga mayayaman at ang mga tuta ang humahawak ng kapangyarihan sa aming bansa.

Ang ugat ng paglabag sa karapatan pang tao ay ang pagahasa ng Estados Unidos sa soberenya ng Pilipinas.

****************************
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS!
NO TO RAIDS, DETENTIONS, AND DEPORTATIONS!
SWIFT FAMILY RE-UNIFICATION NOW! SCRAP THE IMMIGRATION BACKLOG!
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
BAIL-OUT THE WORKERS, NOT THE BANKS!
SCRAP THE PHILIPPINE LABOR EXPORT PROGRAM (LEP)!
NO TO NEOLIBERAL TRADE POLICIES!

The Struggle Continues… Even in the Age of Obama, Filipino-Americans Must Fight for Genuine Immigration Reform

28 Apr

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 27, 2009
Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, Secretary-General, BAYAN-USA, email:
secgen@bayanusa.org

The Struggle Continues… Even in the Age of Obama, Filipino-Americans Must Fight for Genuine Immigration Reform

Statement of BAYAN-USA on May Day 2009

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN-USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino organizations across the United States, calls on all Filipino-Americans to commemorate May 1st, 2009 by joining the people’s continuing struggle for genuine immigration reform in the United States, and systemic change to the exploitative labor export structures in the Philippines.

On May 1st, 2006, Filipinos in the United States under the banner of BAYAN-USA were amongst the millions across the country who revived the militant spirit of May Day, an international workers holiday celebrated around the world but whose significance is suppressed and systemically erased by the US ruling elite and government. As exploitation and oppression against immigrants in the US grows worse– even in the age of the new Obama administration– it is paramount that Filipinos, coming from one of the world’s largest labor exporting countries and the poorest in Asia, express solidarity with all immigrant workers by fighting for dignity, justice, and human rights. This May 1st, BAYAN-USA remains at the forefront of the May Day rallies and street mobilizations in several US cities, and appeals to the broader Filipino-American community to join us in this righteous fight.

Forced by Poverty to Migrate, Living in the Shadows in the U.S.

There are over 4 million Filipinos living in the United States, comprising the third largest immigrant population in the country. At least 60,000 Filipinos enter the US every year, mainly through family sponsorship. Of this, at least one million Filipinos in the US are undocumented, which translates to one million lives living in the shadows, in fear, and vulnerable to the gravest human rights violations perpetuated by the broken immigration system. These human rights violations include indentured servitude at the hands of greedy employers who prey on the fear of undocumented migrants, Gestapo-like raids by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), unlawful detentions without due process, and mass deportations.

For the majority of Filipinos who migrate via family sponsorship, the inefficient backlog system in the US has Filipinos waiting as long as 10-15 years for approval of their petitions. But the sad reality remains that most undocumented and exploited Filipino workers in the US would rather choose a life deemed worthless by the US government for a shot at greener pastures, than go home to the Philippines where they are guaranteed life of poverty and hopelessness. This predicament is universal to all who migrate to the US from countries forced into poverty by neoliberal globalization.

Exploited by Multi-National Corporations and Philippine Labor Export Program

The Philippine economy is kept afloat by the dollar remittances of overseas Filipino workers, which annually average up to $15-16 billion. More than half of the total amount remitted to the Philippines comes from Filipinos in the United States. Wide-scale poverty and deepening hunger force over 3000 Filipinos to leave their loved ones behind and migrate abroad daily. For the vast majority of the 10 million Filipinos living outside of the Philippines, migration was never a choice, but a means of survival for themselves and the families they left behind.

Landlessness for the majority of the Filipino population that live off the land and lack of national industries to provide Filipinos with decent jobs are at the root of this miserable reality. For over 60 years, the collaboration of global monopoly capitalism and the Philippine ruling elite has molded the Philippine economy to an export-oriented and import-dependent model. This means the vast natural resources of the country are bought cheap by multinational corporations and lack of processing industries leave Filipinos dependent on expensive imports from overseas for consumption. As systematized mainly through the global trading system known as neoliberal globalization, the Philippines remains a huge export processing zone for the first world countries of the world, leaving Filipinos literally as beggars on mountains of gold, and therefore seeking to migrate. The Philippine ruling elite, currently represented by the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, profits from this misery by systematizing Filipino labor export in the Philippines through the country’s Labor Export Program (LEP), another oppressive system that literally pimps Filipino migrants abroad but refuses to protect them when they are abused and exploited, or worse, while overseas.

But the huge cracks and inherent flaws of the global system of monopoly capitalism are deepening and rearing for an inevitable downfall, as seen through the global economic crisis. The Arroyo administration maliciously boasts that the global economic crisis will not affect Filipinos or the Philippine economy. But these deceptive words are proven untrue every day as the demand for overseas Filipino workers decrease, causing the annual remittances to the Philippines from overseas Filipino workers to plummet downwards. The rapid isolation of the rotten Philippine ruling system provides excellent conditions for the majority of Filipinos to unite and strengthen the people’s movement for change in the country. The same can be said for the struggle for comprehensive immigration reform in the US.

Workers and Migrants Rise Up

As multinational corporations and big banks face the worst crisis in world history, caused by neoliberal globalization itself, the struggles of oppressed migrant workers around the world, including Filipinos, must intensify. It is under these circumstances that workers’ victories can be achieved as capitalists and their rotten system grow weaker by the day. It is also in this context that immigrant workers in the United States, amongst the most oppressed in the country, must raise the struggle from the streets for genuine immigration reform to a higher level and pressure the Obama administration to live up to its rhetoric of “change we can believe in.”

May 1, 2009 marks the 100th day of the Obama administration. With the official exit of George W. Bush, the Obama administration must be challenged by immigrants themselves to depart from the much-hated foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration. Filipinos in the US must be part of issuing this challenge to the US government. With Washington already poised to put immigration on the table this May, and the two largest US labor federations uniting in the endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform, the political stage is opening its doors for advancements in the immigrant rights movement. We cannot afford to sit back and allow US lawmakers to decide on the fate of tens of millions of immigrant workers, including four million Filipinos, and their families abroad. The only path we should take is onwards with the struggle for a just and humane immigration system free of exploitation and repression.

LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS!

NO TO RAIDS, DETENTIONS, AND DEPORTATIONS!

SWIFT FAMILY RE-UNIFICATION NOW! SCRAP THE IMMIGRATION BACKLOG!

IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!

BAIL-OUT THE WORKERS, NOT THE BANKS!

SCRAP THE PHILIPPINE LABOR EXPORT PROGRAM (LEP)!

NO TO NEOLIBERAL TRADE POLICIES!

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