CATA Continues to Fight for Comprehensive Immigration Reform!
Immigration Reform has always been a priority for CATA members. CATA members have been actively participating in the fight for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and want to see it happen this year! Below is information on what we have been up to lately. Also, check out the Resources link where you can find the full Senate Proposal, a summary, and other information.
Read CATA’s Official Position on why we need a Comprehensive Reform.
2013 Senate Proposal: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
Summary of 2013 Senate Proposal: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
Read CATA’s Response to the Senate Proposal
Check out our Facebook Page for pictures from the National Immigration Rally and our visits to legislators, educating them on why Immigration Reform is so important and necessary.
What can you do? Right now, your members of Congress need to hear from you! You can enter your zip code at www.senate.gov to find the names and contact information for your two Senators, and www.house.gov for your Representatives.
Here are some suggested talking points for your phone call, lobby meeting, or letter:
- Immigration reform should be a priority for this year. Undocumented workers living in the shadows can’t wait any longer.
- Undocumented people here now should have access to a fair process for applying for legal status. Wait times and fines should be reasonable. People should not be excluded based on the length of time they have lived or worked here.
- Any reform must include eventual pathways for citizenship. This must apply both to workers who are currently here undocumented, and future workers who come on a work visa.
- Worker visa programs need strong protections for workers, and the eventual opportunity to apply for permanent status. We are opposed to any proposal which would weaken protections for workers
- Until immigration reform passes, we are calling on the Obama administration to stop deporting people and separating families.
AFL-CIO Releases 2013 Death on the Job Report
“In 2011, 4,693 workers were killed on the job, according to a new AFL-CIO report, “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.” That is an average of thirteen workers every day. In addition, another estimated 50,000 die every year from occupational diseases – an average of 137 a day, bringing the total worker fatalities to 150 a day. North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska and Arkansas had the highest workplace fatality rates, while New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Washington had the lowest. Latino workers, especially those born outside of the United States, continue to face rates of workplace fatalities fourteen percent higher than other workers, the same as last year.” Read the full Press Release: Here
Download the full Report: Here
Shop at Whole Foods April 10!
Whole Food Markets in Edgewater, Millburn, Montclair, Red Bank, Paramus, West Orange, Madison, and Ridgewood are hosting a 5% day for EarthShare New Jersey! CATA is a member of ESNJ, so a portion of your purchase comes to us! Please come out to support CATA and other environmental groups that work so hard to make a better world for us and tomorrow's generations.
CATA is Marching for Immigration Reform
On April 10, immigrant families and allies from around the nation will descend on Washington, D.C. to tell Congress that they want Fair Immigration Reform Now!
So far this year, many members of Congress and the President have been talking about the need to fix our nation’s immigration system. But, as of yet, no proposal had been introduced. We need more than talking – we need strong action!
We need to make a strong presence in Washington to push our members of Congress to act. What’s more, we need to make sure that any proposal covers as many people as possible, provides fair pathways to citizenship, and protects workers’ right.
Help us get everyone to Washington, Donate Today!
Be Part of the Fight:
Join Us CATA is sending members from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. To sign up, call 856-881-2507.
Sponsor a Marcher: $35 covers transportation and food for a CATA member to attend the march and make their voice heard!
Support CATA's important work around Immigration Reform like the March on Washington, Donate today or send a check, made out to CATA, to P.O. Box 510, Glassboro, NJ 08028.
More Info Here!
We thank you for your continued support, que siga la lucha!
It’s Farmworkers Awareness Week!
Why do we celebrate National Farmworker Awareness Week?
Farmworkers feed the world - 85% of our fruits and vegetables are handpicked. There are an estimated 2-3 million men, women, and children work in the fields in the United States. Farms are in every state, including yours, yet farmworkers remain largely invisible and continue to live and work in horrific conditions. We demand dignity for farmworkers!
Farm work is the third most dangerous job in the United States. The people who plant and harvest our fruits and vegetables suffer from the highest rate of toxic chemical injuries of any other workers in the nation and have higher incidences of heat stress, dermatitis, urinary tract infections, parasitic infections, and tuberculosis than other wage-earners. We demand safe working conditions for farmworkers!
Farmworkers are treated differently under the law. Overtime, unemployment insurance, and even protection when joining a union are not guaranteed under federal law. Farmworkers were excluded from almost all major federal laws passed in the 1930s. The Fair Labor Standards Act was amended in 1978 to mandate minimum wage for farmworkers on large farms only and it still has not made provisions for overtime. We demand just living and working conditions for farmworkers and an end to unfair treatment under the law.
More Info Here!
Here are some of the activities CATA has planned for this week:
March 24 – Public Speaking Training for CATA members
March 27 – Screening of Ingredients Documentary at Drew University with discussion on farmworkers role in the food system
March 29 - A Tomato on the Seder Plate: A Passover Seder for Food Justice – CATA Organizer Jessica Culley will be speaking at this event. More info here
Want to do something to honor the critical contributions that farmworkers make. You can make a donation to support CATA’s work with the farmworker community through Just Give or send a check payable to CATA to PO Box 510, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Thank you again for your continued support!
The SIEMBRA Has Grown!
Friends! We’re glad to share with you our latest newsletter! Read about all the great work that CATA has done this year, we’re very proud of all that we have accomplished.
Download it here!
As we look to 2012 and realize the continued struggle that lies ahead, we also look to you for your support. Please take a moment to show your support for CATA and make a generous donation to our annual campaign. You can make a donation through Just Give or send a check payable to CATA to PO Box 510, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Thank you again for your continued support!
CATA Receives Eat4Health Grant!
CATA is now a part of the EAT4Health Initiative! General Coordinator Nelson Carrasquillo is one of four fellows whose goal is to partner with a national organization in Washington D.C. to create fair, just, and environmentally friendly food and farm policies. For more information:
Everybody at the Table for Health
Check Out Our Latest Newsletter!
Read all about what CATA has been up to so far this year Here.
Obama Signs Executive Order Deferring Deportation for Undocumented Youth
Last week, President Obama signed an executive order giving undocumented youth the possibility of deferring deportation if they meet a certain set of criteria. Read CATA’s response to this new directive HERE.
First-of-its-Kind Report Finds Unsustainable Wages & Working Conditions Among Workers Across the Food Chain
The report THE HANDS THAT FEED US: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain, was released today, June 6, by the Food Chain Workers Alliance and shows that the vast majority of food chain jobs are incredibly low-wage and workers have little or no access to paid sick days and health benefits. C.A.T.A, along with other member organizations of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, helped to conduct the over 700 surveys used to compile the information in the report.
Read the Report Here
CATA INTERVIEWED FOR SECURE COMMUNITIES ARTICLE
CATA was interviewed and is mentioned in The Star-Ledger’s article about the effect the state-wide implementation of Secure Communities is having in New Jersey. Secure Communities is a federal program that allows for fingerprints to be run through not only criminal databases, but immigration databases as well, allowing local and state police to detain undocumented immigrants for ICE to pick up. The program has been heavily criticized because it encourages further distrust of law enforcement in immigrant communities and racial profiling.
Read the article Here
SAVE THE DATE! FOOD WORKER AND FOOD JUSTICE CONFERENCE IN NYC!
The Food Worker and Food Justice Conference will take place June 6, 2012 in New York City. The Food Chain Workers Alliance will release the first-ever comprehensive report on the current state of food workers in the United States and food workers will give testimonies on their own experiences working in the food system.
The conference will also feature a panel on current policy initiatives in New York City around good food and good jobs in the food system. Attendees will also be able to participate in workshops and hands-on learning sessions on how to build a sustainable food system with sustainable jobs for the workers.
NATIONAL FARMWORKER AWARENESS WEEK
March 25-31 is National Farmworker Awareness Week. CATA is a sponsor of this week that is dedicated to bringing awareness to the struggles and injustices that face farmworkers.
Here are some of the things CATA is participating in for this week:
March 28 - Eat with Bon Appétit and Undercover Food Writer Tracie McMillan Event
March 30-31 – Presentation at Beyond Pesticides Conference
April 1 – Philly Farm Fest to promote the Agricultural Justice Project
For more information and a calendar of events, click on the link below.
National Farmworker Awareness Week
Get Tickets to EarthShare’s Annual Celebration!
Tickets are still available for EarthShare Celebrates New Jersey at a special discounted price. Join them for an evening celebrating the bounty and beauty of New Jersey through art, wine and food! This celebration features environmental awareness and the members of EarthShare New Jersey. Guests are invited to enjoy the sounds of Stringzville and participate in the eco-friendly chance and silent auctions which feature exclusive environmental experiences, tickets to sports events/concerts/shows, and items from some of your favorite businesses across the state.
Click Here for More Information
General Coordinator’s Article Published in Race/Ethnicity Journal
CATA’s General Coordinator, Nelson Carrasquillo, wrote an article that was published in the Autumn 2011 edition of the Race/Ethnicity Journal entitled “Race and Ethnicity from the Point of View of Farm Workers in the Food System.” In the article he provides an analysis of the growth of the agricultural sector in the United States, from the inception of slavery to the present-day obstacles facing fair wages and fair treatment of modern-day farm workers.
Read the article here
The SIEMBRA Has Grown!
Friends! We’re glad to share with you our latest newsletter! In it you can read about our newest campaign to promote access to good, healthy food for everyone! The Food Justice Campaign began earlier this summer, and the committee is well on it’s way to identifying land for a community garden next year!
Also, you can read an editorial written by CATA’s General Coordinator, Nelson Carrasquillo, on the Occupy Movement and the challenge we all face to work to integrate our struggles.
Additionally, there’s news from several of our partner organizations and articles written by our summer interns – Natalie Sanchez and Christina O’Campo!
Download it here!
Stand Against Increased Immigration Detention in New Jersey
In December of 2010, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced their intention to increase their detention capacity in New Jersey by 2, 250 beds (largely by expanding the Essex County Jail in Newark, NJ) – more than doubling their current capacity.
Over the months since this announcement, organizations from across the state have voiced opposition to this plan, collecting signatures on petitions, attending County Freeholder Meetings, organizing in the community, etc.
Last week, the County Board of Freeholders approved the contract with ICE.
“When prisoners become units from which profit is derived, there is a tendency to see them as commodities rather than as children of God.”
From “Wardens from Wall Street: Prison Privatization” a pastoral letter from the Catholic Bishops from the South
After last Wednesday’s vote by the Essex County Board of Chose Freeholders to approve a contract that would expand immigration detention at the Essex County Jail and neighboring Delaney Hal, the Board VP Ralph Caputo explained the vote in a conversation with a reporter from the Star Ledger.
"Ralph R. Caputo said he is not overjoyed to have the county in the detention business, but it makes fiscal sense for now to provide a solution to the vexing federal issue of illegal immigration"
Please sign the Petition and tell the Essex County Freeholders that immigration detention will not solve a broken system.
Essex County will reportedly be receiving $50 million a year for this contract. But this money will be coming from our federal tax dollars.
Our federal tax dollars are being wasted on a system:
Not only did the Freeholders vote in favor of wasting federal tax dollars on a broken system, they voted to enter into a “business” that equates the freedom and the human dignity of each of the people in their custody to the fiscal benefit of a per diem rate of $108/day.
- that negatively impacts our local economies and communities.
- that mistakenly detains and deports US citizens
- that neglects the physical and mental health of those in its custody
Please Tell the Essex County Freeholders that immigration detention does not solve the broken system of immigration. Remind them of their responsibility to protect the human rights of the individuals in their custody. Remind them that these are human beings who deserve dignity and respect not entries on a balance sheet. Tell them that their profit motives will just make a broken system worse!
Sign the petition at www.change.org.
Tell the freeholders to:
If you have signed the petition already please forward the link to your friends and family!
- revoke the contract with ICE
- immediately improve conditions in the jail
- create a community oversight board for the detainees in both the jail and Delaney Hall
National Report Released on the Failure of ICE's "Secure Communities" Program
Today a National Report on the failure of the Secure Communities Program was released by the National Day Laborer’s Organizing Network (NDLON).
The Secure Communities Program – a program that creates automatic information sharing between local law enforcement and ICE – has been implemented in almost half of all jurisdictions around the country (not yet in NJ, only in 3 counties of PA, and widely throughout MD and DE) with the goal of having it fully implemented by 2013.
Just over a week ago, ICE announced that all agreements that had previously been used to establish jurisdiction of the program would be unilaterally rescinded, and that the agency would continue implementation of the program, REGARDLESS of local or state disagreement.
In conversations within CATA, members have expressed uncertainty on how criminals within the community should be dealt with – but all have seen and heard how families and communities have been impacted by policies that indiscriminately turn over individuals to ICE, often when they have not been convicted of ANY crime or of a minor offense.
We encourage you to read the report here, endorse it if you are part of an organization, learn about local campaigns to end local law enforcement collaboration with ICE, including the New Sanctuary Movement’s Campaign in Philadelphia, and support the right of ALL people to live in their communities, with their families.
Mark Your Calendar!
Mark your calendars for the 2011 Philadelphia Troublemakers School on September 17th!
Philly Troublemaker School on Saturday, September 17th
The Troublemakers School provides tools for activists to better engage in organizing in the workplace, advancing the ideas and principles of unionism, building solidarity among different sections of the workforce, and confronting the problems that working people face in today's economy and political climate.
This full day of discussion and workshops will be held at the Community College of Philadelphia's Winnet Student Life Building on 17th St. between Spring Garden and Callowhill.
From 9am-5pm discussion and some workshops will include:
CATA will also be presenting a workshop on our experiences organizing undocumented workers!
- why the economy doesn't work for working people today
- how to build contract campaigns that win
- building member-to-member networks and leadership development
- using media to effectively tell your story
Click here to for more information and to register!
Announcing CATA’s new campaign: The Food Justice Project!
The goal of the Food Justice Project is for the immigrant community in the area of Bridgeton, NJ, to be able to buy, prepare, and eat food that is healthy and produced without chemicals. We seek to promote the well-being of immigrant families in the community.
The first phase of the project will be to conduct interviews with a number of families in the Bridgeton area. This will enable us to understand what are these families’ current habits in terms of buying and preparing food and what the barriers that keep these families from eating healthily are.
With this information CATA will develop a series of workshops around nutrition, engage with organic farmers in the Bridgeton area, set up an an organic farmers' market that is easily accesible, and finally cultivate a plot of land to be used by our membership to grow their own food that they can bring home to their families as well as sell their produce.
Want to get involved?
If you can help in any of these ways email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the CATA office at 856-881-2507.
- You can donate to support CATA’s programs by contributing online here or by sending in a check. If you wish to donate specifically to the Food Justice Project, please note that with your online donation or check.
- Do have expertise in nutrition or experience in community nutrition education? We are looking for your advice in developing workshops.
- If you know of land in Bridgeton that would be suitable for community gardens and might be open for rent or sale, please get in touch.
- Do you know organic/sustainable farmers who might be interested in participating? Let us know!
Special thanks to the Kresge Foundation and the Presbyterian Hunger Program for helping make this campign possible!
Food Justice Certification!
Exciting news from the Agricultural Justice Project!
AJP has just officially trained their first batch of people who can now do their food justice inspections and certifications of farms and food businesses! This brings us one big step closer to having domestic fair trade here in the US! Click here to view the press release of this great news.
CATA was one of the founding organizations of AJP when our members identified the need for workers’ rights to be protected within organic and sustainable agriculture, in addition to the environmentally-friendly practices more often associated with that movement. For more information on CATA's role in AJP, check out our Fair Labor Standards and the Organic Industry section of the website.
For more information on AJP, you can visit their website at www.agriculturaljusticeproject.org.
CATA Presents at the UN General Assembly
On Thursday May 19, 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations held a debate on Migration and
Development, the first time the UN has officially addressed the issue of migration since 2006.
CATA has played a strong leadership role in the lead-up to this unique opportunity to weigh in on international policy affecting migrant workers and
In addition to leading the drafting process of a joint Civil Society statement that was submitted to the
President of the General Assembly, in the morning session of the May 19 debate CATA's Richard Mandelbaum was the only
member of Civil Society to address the General Assembly, representing the thirty-five member organizations of the NGO
Committee on Migration.
To read what Richard Mandelbaum presented click here.
To read the UN's press release on the debate click here.
Dignity! Dignity! No Detention!
On Thursday, February 11, 2011, CATA members and staff participated in a rally and march in Newark, NJ to oppose the expansion of the Essex County Correctional Facility detention center. The county plans on adding 2,700 new beds to its 465 beds right now.
The event started with a rally outside the ICE offices in downtown Newark and then a 3.5 mile march to the correction facility proceeded. All along the route, people were chanting "Dignity! Dignity! No detention!" and "Education not deportation!" Overall, it was a great event.
Click here to see our pictures from the day!
For more information on the rally and march, check out this article online: Immigration advocates gather in Newark to protest proposed Essex County detention center
New Study Out on Day Laborers in New Jersey
Seton Hall University of Law just released this report on wage theft in New Jersey titled "All Work and No Pay: Day Laborers, Wage Theft, and Workplace Justice in New Jersey". CATA participated in this report by interviewing day laborers in Bridgeton, NJ.
According to the study, day laborers in New Jersey experience "rampant exploitation and abuse". Of the 113 laborers interviewed, about half said they received less than half the pay they were promised, or no pay at all, for at least one job in the past year. In addition to this, many workers said their employers did not provide them with safety equipment such as goggles, hard hats and masks, and some reported that they were injured so badly on the job they were forced to miss days at work.
One finding on the brighter side, however, is that the rate of wage theft was significantly lower in areas where there are established advocacy groups fighting for low-wage and immigrant workers' rights!
Click here to read the whole report
Read this article in the New York times for a good synopsis and background on the report: Seton Hall Study on Abuse of Day Laborers in N.J.
CATA Membership on BBC World News!
In June, BBC World News America reporter Laura Trevelyan joined some of CATA's members at their farm labor camp in South Jersey. Also in the report is farmer Tom Sheppard of Sheppard Farms and he talks about the need for immigrant workers and immigration reform.
You can watch the report by clicking here!
CATA MARKS 31 YEARS IN THE FIGHT FOR FARMWORKER JUSTICE. JOIN THE MOVEMENT. DONATE TODAY!
Over 30 years ago, farmworkers came together to establish CATA as a means to address the exploitation and discrimination they encountered while working and living in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
What started off as a small volunteer effort has grown into an organization of members and supporters working on local, national and international farmworker issues.
CATA has made a great impact in the lives of the tens of thousands of migrant workers who have lived and worked in the area. Whether it has been educating them on their rights, building their leadership capacity, or organizing the
community to provide testimonies and coordinate immigrant marches, CATA’s work continues to advance farmworker issues in solidarity with others so policies affecting all workers are improved.
Without the support from people like you we would not have been able to achieve the many accomplishments we have realized over the years. For this, we extend our thanks and gratitude to all who have stood by us and ask your continued support.
To keep the momentum going and expand our efforts, we call on you to recommit yourselves to workers’ and immigrants’ rights.
Please continue to support farmworkers and contribute to CATA’s success in the next 30 years. THANK YOU!!