U.S. Filipinos Highlight Immigrant Rights on May Day
NAFCON Launches “Pulso ng ating mga Kababayan” On International Workers Day
For Filipinos in the U.S. immigrant rights is an important issue. Filipinos relate to the issue for various reasons. Many do because they have waited over a decade to be united with their loved one(s) hoping for petition(s) to be approved. For others, it is also important because they need legal status to live without the fear of being deported as they survive day to day, living in the shadows. Despite the undeniable importance of immigrant rights to the over four million Filipinos in the U.S., our community lacks a strong united voice in regards to the issue.
That is why On May 1st, International Workers Day, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) launches the Pulso ng ating mga Kababayan (Pulse of the People) education and research campaign. NAFCON’s objectives for the campaign are to share with the larger community NAFCON’s many educational resources and analysis dealing with immigrant rights as well as to learn more about the thoughts and experiences of Filipinos by conducting a nation-wide survey. Both the resources and the survey can be found on the alliance’s website.
“NAFCON chose International Workers Day to launch this project because Filipino immigrants are one of the most undervalued and exploited groups of workers in the U.S. So on May 1st, the day when workers and migrants worldwide celebrate and advocate for their right to a dignified workplace and decent working conditions, NAFCON honors and highlights Filipino immigrants in the U.S.!” says Terry Valen, President of NAFCON.
Since its founding in 2003, NAFCON has defended the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the U.S. understanding that immigration is a major concern for our families and community. As part of its campaign, NAFCON hopes to educate the community about several concerns. One is the key role the Philippine government should play in advocating for changes in U.S. laws to better protect Filipino immigrants. Another is the need for the Philippine government to deal with the issue of forced migration by changing its own policies around labor export and economic development.
“Most Filipinos don’t want to leave the Philippines to find work because they do not want to leave their families and face horrible working conditions abroad. But the government prioritizes sending Filipinos overseas when it should prioritize creating jobs and livelihood at home by reforming its laws around land and using the nation’s wealth to industrialize,” continues Valen.
As part of its campaign launch, NAFCON gathers on May 1st in various cities throughout the U.S. calling to End forced migration/Create jobs in the Philippines! Stop the illegalization of Im/migrants! End Human Trafficking! And for Family Reunification! To join NAFCON on May 1st, learn more about our work, or participate in the survey, please visit our website at www.nafconusa.org or contact one of NAFCON’s regional representatives.###
Contact Information for NAFCON Regional Representatives:
Northeast: Michelle Saulon firstname.lastname@example.org (347) 867 – 1550
Midwest: Nerissa Allegretti email@example.com (224) 381-6888
Nor Cal: Angelica Cabande firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 946 – 9904
So Cal: Alex Montances email@example.com (253) 381 – 7444
Northwest: Freedom Siyam firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 659 – 1896