Business & Finance

Immigration Reform March Marks Labor Day in Plainfield

9ddf8ab4b6c1bce2227a_darl1.jpg
Democratic Mayoral Candidate Adrian Mapp and Union Leader Kevin Brown lead Plainfield Immigration Reform March Credits: Darlene McWilliams
f6d95696bc9f76c0d3ae_darl2.jpg
Immigration Reform March Credits: Darlene McWilliams
9ddf8ab4b6c1bce2227a_darl1.jpg

PLAINFIELD, NJ - More than 70 immigrants and supporters, including Assemblyman Jerry Green and Democrat candidate for Mayor Adrian Mapp, gathered at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield to commemorate Labor Day, and demand a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

Organized by the 32BJ SEIU, the gathering mostly consisted of workers from the Plainfield and Bound Brook areas.  Men, women and children of all ages waved signs and wore purple wrist bands to symbolize their support.  A local female supporter, named Gladys, led the crowd of primarily Spanish-speaking immigrants in a chant, “Reforma! Ahora!”  which translates to, "Reform Now!"

According to Eugenio Villasante, Communications Director for the Union, there are 90,000 workers in New Jersey, with 145,000 along the East Coast from Boston to Florida.  This makes 32BJ the largest property services union in the country. Villasante said, “These are also workers who need, urgently, immigration reform…and want to be able to contribute more fully.”

Sign Up for E-News

A young mother named Vanessa spoke to TheAlternativePress.com about the significance of the rally.  “For me personally,” she said, “this Labor Day March means security and stability for my family.”  She expressed concern for one of her two children, and especially for her husband, who is an undocumented worker.

“Today, as we celebrate the contributions of the American worker, we cannot forget the diverse gifts and talents that immigrants have brought to our country," said Kevin Brown, State Director of 32BJ SEIU, in a press release to TheAlternativePress.com.  “Reforming our broken immigration system is part and parcel to creating an economy that works for all of us," he said.  While at the rally, Brown spoke of the significance of the Labor Day event.

“We think that on this Labor Day we should be remembering that the immigrant workers need immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship,” Brown said.

The 32BJ SEIU website records Kevin Brown as having been involved in the trade union movement since 1987, when he started working for SEIU as an organizer. The website also records that during those five years, Kevin Brown helped organize 1,000 cleaners who lived in the working-class areas of Washington, D.C.  The grandchild of Russian and Polish immigrants, and raised in a Jewish family committed to Tikkum Olam –healing the world—Brown believes that humans have a "shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world.”

Translating English to Spanish for Democrat candidate for Mayor Adrian Mapp was Analilia Mejia, New Jersey political director of the union.  Speaking of his appreciation of the unions, Mapp, said, “I owe where I am today to a very strong union. I am here to demonstrate my support for immigration reform.”

Mapp shared his ability to identify with the immigrant population as an immigrant from Barbados.  He told the audience, “I am a believer in the Dream Act.”  Expressing what he said is, “the need and importance of citizenship for all,” Mapp emphasized, “It is important for everyone to earn a decent wage.” Mapp stressed, “There should be the same pay for the same job.  I have concern for women who are the head of their households.”

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and according to some statistical reports is lower than it was in the 1960s, adjusted for inflation.

Mr. Mapp said he would like to see an increase to $8.25 per hour.

Wrapping up the speeches for the day, and further emphasizing the need for a wage increase for all workers, was Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Green, who said, “I remember what it was like to be a teenaged father making only $55 a week.” Green continued to stress the significance of the workers to the economy of New Jersey and his support of immigration reform.

This summer, the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation that included a pathway to citizenship on a bipartisan vote of 68-32.  Through lobby days, phone banks, events and rallies, immigration advocates are keeping the pressure on House members to take an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill when they return from recess.

Advocates of the legislation also oppose work permits for undocumented workers without full citizenship, noting that it would relegate millions of people to a permanent underclass.

Opponents of the legislation have said that immigration reform would be unfair to those immigrants who have gone through proper channels to enter the country legally, and that it might make finding employment even more difficult for both legal immigrants as well as other citizens grappling with a high unemployment rate in a difficult economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_051fbfdc6005fbc26458_072118silentparty

Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Silent Party

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Washington Park, Dunellen

Free Music in the Park | Princesa - Pop / Latin

Arts & Entertainment

Our Children, Our City, Our Future.

July 21, 2018

They say that charity begins at home and with almost 1000 book bags given to deserving Plainfield students at last year's National Night Out. We demonstrated unequivocally that we understand how important it is to help our children learn, and that we are a caring community.

Our ultimate goal is always to build paths to self-sufficiency, but we know and understand that there are times when ...

Plainfield BOE Member on Naming of the New School

July 12, 2018

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – I, Carmencita Pile, an elected Plainfield School Board member presented this during the Plainfield School Board monthly business meeting to the public and to the board after being recognized by Plainfield School Board President Mr. Richard Wyatt.

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:10PM an email was sent from the Plainfield School District's Postmaster that ...

Video Emerges of Parents Arguing at Junior Baseball State Sectional Championships

July 21, 2018

FORT LEE, NJ -  Nutley made it to Junior League Baseball Section 2 Championship before falling to Saddle Brook last night. 

The game was marred by an incident that began in the bleachers during the third inning as parents representing both teams began shouting at each other.  The expletive-filled argument, behind the Nutley dugout and near child spectators, ...

Nuestros Hijos, Nuestra Ciudad, Nuestro Futuro

July 21, 2018

Dicen que la caridad comienza en la casa, y con casi un mil de mochilas donadas a los estudiantes de Plainfield en el "National Night Out" del año pasado, demostramos que entendemos lo importante que es ayudar a nuestros hijos en el aprendizaje, y que esto es importante para nuestra comunidad. 

Nuestro gol es construir los caminos a la autosuficiencia, pero sabemos y ...

La Guerra contra los Inmigrantes- Cuando es Demasiado?

"Primero, vinieron por los comunistas, y yo no hable- por que no era comunista.

Después, vinieron por los sindicalistas, y yo no hable- por que no era sindicalista.

Después, vinieron por los judíos, y yo no hable- por que no era judío. 

Después, vinieron por mí- y no hubo nadie para hablar por mí."

Este dicho por el ...

Mayor Mapp:  El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes

El lunes, 9 de julio, nuevas caras alumbraran las oficinas de la Alcaldía. Nuestro Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes por fin comienza, y otra vez los empleados tendrán la oportunidad de ser mentores de un nuevo grupo de jóvenes.

El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes corre por seis semanas todos los años y les da la oportunidad de empleo y experiencia a ...

Featured Business: Studio 15 Young Plainfield Entrepreneurs Expand Business Once More

“What you see behind me is a life-changing project for myself that I have been working on since January 2017, nearly two years, discreetly; not sharing much about it with anybody. I've had plenty of reasons to give up on this truck; I purchased it pretty much from the ground up from Rashine Mobile, another local city entrepreneur. The truck had no steering column, no computer; it ...

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)

 

Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)

 

Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

The Death of Koko the Gorilla

Koko's Kitten, Koko's Story, The Eduction of Koko all by Dr. Francine Patterson

 

Last night when I heard about the death of Koko, the lowland gorilla who was educated to communicate through American Sign Language by Dr. Francine Patterson, I went numb with grief. I have followed the life of Koko, her two gorilla companions, Michael and Ndume, as well as Dr. Patterson for forty ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...