CATA Statement on President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration
On Thursday, November 20, President Obama announced his executive order on immigration. The President’s executive order will allow undocumented immigrants, who have lived in the United States for at least five years and have children who are US citizens or Legal Permanent Residents, to temporarily work and live in the United States without fear of deportation as long as they pass a criminal background check, pay all of their taxes, and pay a fee. The executive order also expands the pool of people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include those who arrived before Jan. 1, 2010 without any age limitation.
We support the fact that this order will allow a portion of the undocumented population a period of relief from the fear of deportation that they live with every day. However, we are disappointed with the limits to this action. Most of our members will not qualify for this relief even though they have been working and paying taxes in the United States for many years. For those that will qualify, the order is still discriminatory. Undocumented immigrants who qualify for the temporary deportation relief will be given a social security number to pay their taxes with but will continue to be excluded from claiming retirement benefits and from the Affordable Care Act.
The claim is that this order will temporarily protect around 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, including the expanded eligible population for the DACA program. However, that does not mean that all 5+ million will apply due to the fact that this order has a very unclear future. Justifiably, many undocumented immigrants fear that putting their name on a list for temporary relief will lead to negative consequences when the President leaves office and should his order be overturned by the next President.
We at CATA understand that the presence of undocumented workers in the U.S. not only contributes to the betterment of civil society but is a crucial element for the viability of our broken food system. For example, New Jersey would lose $24.2 billion in economic activity and about 103,898 jobs if all unauthorized immigrants were removed. Our society and, in particular, the corporate agricultural and food industries, takes advantage of the vulnerability of the undocumented population in order to maintain low salaries and increase profits. Although undocumented immigrants contribute financially through purchasing and living costs, they are systemically kept in poverty. This order does very little to address any of those issues.
While this executive order is a step in the right direction, it is far from addressing the real problems; it is merely a small band-aid on the gaping wound that is our broken immigration system. The President is right to address this issue, but much more needs to be done. Congress needs to stop focusing on petty politics and come up with a genuine, comprehensive solution. We will continue to push for a path to citizenship as a solution to the presence of more than 11 million undocumented people. The principle which immigration policy should be based on is the fulfillment of the human rights and dignity of every person. We affirm that the struggle goes beyond the recognition of the basic human rights of migrants and workers. The struggle is to challenge society to not be guided by fear and intolerance, but by the recognition of the value and inherent dignity of human life.
Download the statement HERE
The SIEMBRA Has Grown!Friends! We’re glad to share with you our latest newsletter! Read about CATA’s work promoting food justice and protections for farmworkers from pesticides and learn more about our new Credit Union and Radio projects.
Click here to read the full version of "The Harmful Effects of Pesticides"
Help Us Make the Worker Protection Standard Stronger
Did You Know? Pesticide exposure causes farmworkers to suffer more chemical-related injuries and illnesses than any other workforce in the nation.
On February 20, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standards, giving us the opportunity to increase the protections for workers who are exposed to pesticides.
To read our Policy Brief and learn more about the proposed standards, click on the link below. WPS Policy Brief
The EPA is allowing for comments on the proposal until August 18. We need you to submit comments to tell the EPA what needs to be done to maximize protections for workers! CATA has put together sample comments that you can submit on behalf of yourself or organization. To view and submit these comments, follow the steps below:
Watch our NEW video of farmworkers talking about their experiences working with pesticides:
Any questions, please contact us at 856-881-2507 or email@example.com.
La Brea Workers Need Your Support!
On May 1, workers who were unjustly fired from La Brea Bakery delivered a letter to Starbucks asking them to put pressure on La Brea to meet with these workers. Now you can show your support for these workers and send your own letter to Starbucks too!
Download this letter, sign and send it to the address at the top of the letter.
Since March, CATA has been working with a number of workers who were formerly employed by La Brea Bakery in Swedesboro, NJ. The company engaged in an internal I-9 audit, intimidated many of the workers into admitting that they didn't have proper working documents, and a large number of them were terminated without advance notice. Despite the fact that many workers had been with the company for 8, 9, 12 years, the company offered no notice and no severance pay. The workers delivered a letter to the company management on Monday, March 17 requesting dialogue with the company. Their request and other efforts to open dialogue have gone unacknowledged.
The company may be ignoring the workers request, but we are not giving up! We are now reaching out to buyers of La Brea products to put pressure on the company and you can help!
Watch a short video of the workers:
Join us May 1 as we MARCH FOR JUSTICE!
CATA members are joining the Philly May 1 Coalition to march through Philadelphia and stand up for worker’s rights. Meet at 15th and Market Sts. At 4 PM to march. CATA members, including workers who were unjustly fired from La Brea Bakery will be marching with other organizations demanding respect for workers and working towards building the power of the working class.
Over the past month CATA has been working with a number of workers who were formerly employed by La Brea Bakery in Swedesboro, NJ. A month ago, a large number of them were terminated without advance notice. The company engaged in an internal I-9 audit, and intimidated many of the workers into admitting that they didn't have proper working documents. Despite the fact that many workers had been with the company for 8, 9, 12 years, the company offered no advance notice and no severance pay. The workers delivered a letter to the company management on Monday, March 17 requesting dialogue with the company. Their request and other efforts to open dialogue have gone unacknowledged.
The company may be ignoring the workers request, but we are not giving up! During the March we will be stopping at Starbucks, a buyer of La Brea products, asking them to put pressure on La Brea to meet with the workers. Please join us at 4 PM, 15th and Market Sts. Look for the CATA banner!
Map of May 1 March Route and Stops
More information on the March
CATA is Starting a Radio Station and We Need Your Help!
A radio station will help CATA provide information to its members and the wider Latino community. CATA works with migrant workers and the migrant community so that they have the knowledge and tools necessary to take actions that are in their best interests. The station will be an integral component in spreading CATA’s message and engaging workers to organize and fight for their rights.
Through the radio station, we will be able to recruit more members to the organization and grow the capacity of CATA and its members. We will provide accurate news reports and information on issues concerning the migrant community. A space will be created for the members to talk about questions and concerns they have in their workplaces and communities. Programing segments will provide information on immigration processes, current immigration reform news, worker’s rights, and healthy food access. Additionally, the broadcasts will inform people of CATA’s meetings, trainings, workshops, and other activities.
Help us make the radio station a reality! Donate to our project through HIPGive:
Call on La Brea Bakery to Treat Workers With Justice
Last week, beginning on March 12, more than 100 Latino workers were unfairly fired from their jobs with La Brea Bakery in Swedesboro, NJ. The company recently conducted an internal I-9 re-verification and fired anyone who couldn’t present the requested paperwork. Although many of them have worked at the bakery for more than 10 years and felt that La Brea was like a second family, many were treated like delinquents and given no advance warning despite all the years they have dedicated to the company.
In addition to these unjust firings, since the international corporation Arytza bought the bakery two years ago there have been many changes in the workplace which are not favorable to the workforce. Examples of this include the rollback of medical benefits, eliminating paid sick days, and increased pressure to work quickly.
Given these circumstances, the workers delivered a letter on Monday, March 17 seeking a dialogue with the company in the next two weeks. We expect the company to fully respect the rights of workers to meet together and to seek legal advice. Workers who were fired want the opportunity to ask for their jobs back and, if that is not possible, to receive some compensation for their years of service.
Please sign this PETITION to show John Yamin, CEO of the Americas at Arytza AG that the company should talk to the workers about their concerns in the workplace and about the way fired workers were treated!
Watch this short video of the workers delivering the letter:
Check Out Our Latest Video About Packinghouse WorkersCATA interviewed several packinghouse workers about what their work is like. In this video, listen to how the constant pressure to work as fast as you can causes accidents and other dangers and risks that come from working “on the line.”
Watch the video here
CATA Releases Statement on Proposed Changes to Worker Protection StandardsOn February 20, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standards, increasing the protections for workers who are exposed to pesticides. CATA has issued a statement about these changes. We will be following this process very carefully, as we want to make sure that the changes that are made strengthen protections for workers. A public comment period on these proposed changes will follow, check back for more information on how to submit your comments.
Read the full statement HERE
For more information on the proposed changes, visit HERE
Make an End of the Year Gift to CATA!
It has been an exciting year for CATA and its members. We advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, harvested organic produce from our community garden, helped raise the minimum wage in New Jersey, and trained farmworkers and migrant workers in health and safety procedures and workers’ rights. We hope to continue this important work of empowering and educating the migrant community and we need your help.
We wouldn’t have been able to do this important work without the help and financial support of our friends and allies. Your gift, no matter what the size, greatly contributes to the community organizing efforts of the farmworker and migrant worker communities.
Please consider making a generous donation to our annual campaign. You can make your tax-deductible gift online through at Just Give Any contribution, large or small, puts us all one step closer to living in a society that respects the rights of all people.
Check out our latest NEWSLETTER and read more HERE about what we have accomplished this year and our plans for the coming year.
Connect with CATA! Like our Facebook Page for daily news and updates.
Help Us Bring Food Justice Certified Products to Whole Foods!
The Agricultural Justice Project is an initiative to create a fair and equitable food system via social justice standards for organic and sustainable agriculture. A partnership between CATA, the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), Northeast Farming Association (NOFA), and Florida Organic Growers/Quality Certification Services (FOG/QCS), it uses its Food Justice Certified label as a tool to promote fair relationships and social justice throughout all aspects of the food system, from field to fork.
Currently, certain Whole Foods Stores have started to carry Farmer Direct Bulk Bin products like lentils, barley, and split peas that are Food Justice Certified. Help us create a market for Food Justice Certified products in farmers and super markets across the country and raise the bar on social justice standards in the food system.
Download this LETTER, sign it and send it to your local Whole Foods, asking them to carry these products. Help us prove that savvy consumers care about more than just their own health and safety; that they care about workers’ rights, health and safety, and fair relationships for workers and farmers too!
Save the Date! CATA to Premiere New Documentaries!
As a part of International Food Workers Week, CATA will host a short documentary films screening and discussion around issues of workers’ rights, immigration, and food justice. Come learn about the injustices facing many food and migrant workers today and how you can be a part of creating a more just and sustainable food system.
Nov. 21 @ 7 PM with $10 Suggested Donation
Rufus Jones Room at Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA
Come and see:
"The Plight of the Workers" A CATA film about workers’ rights from the perspectives of migrant workers in New Jersey.
"Hungry for Justice" A film made by the Agricultural Justice Project about an inspiring model that can ensure social justice in all aspects of the food system, from field to table.
A discussion with local agricultural/food worker members of CATA will follow. Refreshments will be provided.
Download the Event Flyer and share it with your friends!
This event is co-sponsored by:
Attention New Jersey Residents, you can Raise the Wage!
On Nov. 5, you can vote to raise the Minimum Wage. This year, New Jersey residents can vote YES on ballot question #2 to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 with future increases tied to the cost of living.
CATA members have worked tirelessly over the past year and a half, giving testimony and educating our legislators on how difficult it is to live on the minimum wage. Check out their testimonies below:
The SIEMBRA Has Grown!
Friends! We’re glad to share with you our latest newsletter!
Thanks to your support, CATA continutes to fight for justice and workers rights in the migrant community. You can make a donation through Just Give or send a check payable to CATA to PO Box 510, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Thank you!
You are Invited! Come talk about Food Justice for Farmworkers and Farmers!
Join us for an evening presentation & discussion hosted by the Center for Farmworker Families & the Agricultural Justice Project!
Join us for the premiere of the film “Hungry for Justice” followed by a discussion lead by our guest speakers Ann Lopez, Jessica Culley, Elizabeth Henderson, and Michael Sligh on food justice for farmworkers and farmers.
Friday Aug. 30th 2013
2080 Cabrillo Hwy Pescadero, CA 94060
For more information, Check out this flyer
Food Justice Certification Training for Organic Certifiers & Worker Organizations
This training will provide organic certifiers and farm worker organizations with the information, skills, and paperwork they need to implement Food Justice Certification for farms and businesses.
Location: Ithaca/Binghamton, New York
Dates: October 30 – November 1, 2013 (directly after IOIA organic training)
What to Expect: 3 days (half in classroom and half on inspection)
Registration fee: $500 before October 1, 2013 and $750 after
* Registrants are responsible for their own travel costs. Blocks of rooms are being held under IOIA for a reduced rate.
To begin: fill out the online Registration Form
For more information, Check out this flyer
CATA Celebrates the Grand Opening of Bridgeton Organic Community Garden
On June 23, over 100 members of the Bridgeton Community joined CATA to open the Bridgeton Organic Community Garden.
The Garden is one of many initiatives of CATA’s Food Justice Project. Many hard-working Bridgeton residents are forced to deal with food-insecurity and don’t have the physical or economic access to fresh and organic vegetables to help keep their families healthy. CATA’s community garden is enabling community members to grow their own organic fruits and vegetables while transforming a vacant lot into a creative-sustainable alternative. The garden, in its first growing season, is a result of neighborhood families working together to address the need for healthy and affordable food options in their communities.
The Grand Opening was a huge success and we are excited for the future of the garden and the Food Justice Project in Bridgeton. We are looking for new friends and supporters of the garden and CATA, please consider Donating TodayRead all the press coverage of the garden and the grand opening:
Diario de Mexico
South Jersey Voices
Press of Atlantic City
The Daily Journal
South Jersey Times
Connect with CATA! Like our Facebook Page to see pictures of the Garden and Grand Opening and for daily news and updates.
CATA Continues to Push for Fair Immigration Reform
Immigration reform efforts have kicked into high gear. As the U.S. Senate debates the proposed immigration reform bill, amendments are being considered that will deeply impact the number of immigrant families that would be able to qualify. As of June 14, a total of 105 amendments to the bill had been filed. Many of these amendments would weaken the bill’s core provisions by creating additional barriers to legalization, demanding more border and interior enforcement, weakening protections for workers, and denying access to public benefits for legalizing immigrants.
Of particular concern are four amendments filed jointly by Senators Rubio and Hatch that would make the road to citizenship prohibitively expensive for many aspiring citizen families by denying them tax credits, further restricting access to cost-saving health-care measures, and adding burdensome back tax requirements.
Additionally, The House of Representatives has taken up their own discussions on Immigration Reform. Among their proposals are bills that would deny a path to citizenship to undocumented workers in the country. The “Agricultural Guestworker Act” proposed by Representative Goodlatte would lower farmworkers’ wages, eliminate labor protections, and not allow undocumented farmworkers to earn residency or move towards citizenship. Other bills, like the SAFE Act, H.R. 2278, would make presence in the United States without documentation a FEDERAL offense.
So please, Call your Senators and your Representatives Today!
Your message should state that you support a Fair and Humane Immigration Reform that:
Call the two U.S. Senators for your state. Find their phone numbers HERE
Call the US Representative in your district by putting your zip code in the box in the upper right corner HERE
CATA Continues to Fight for Comprehensive Immigration Reform!
Here are some suggested talking points for your phone call, lobby meeting, or letter:
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!<
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!
It’s Farmworkers Awareness Week!
Why do we celebrate National Farmworker Awareness 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
National Report Released on the Failure of ICE's "Secure Communities" ProgramToday 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!
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