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Central Florida LCLAA Chapter Officers
Victor Sanchez (President)
304 Appaloosa Court Sanford FL 32773
(407) 924-1802

David Fernandez (Vice-President)
9973 Timber Oaks Court Orlando, Florida 32817
(407) 494-1572

Mayra Uribe (Treasurer)
5319 Lake Jessamine Drive Orlando FL 32839
(407) 721-3433

Denise Diaz (Recorded Secretary)
231 East Colonial Drive Orlando FL 32801
(407) 451-2472

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    Archive for August, 2014
    President Obama is expected to announce his plans regarding immigration policy in the ​coming​ weeks upon completion of a review by agency officials.

    However, some Democratic Senate candidates prefer that he wait to take administrative action on immigration until after the November elections.  Senate Democratic leadership has not taken a position on the timing of the President’s announcement, saying that it is up to the President.


    Some advocates predict that the President will create an affirmative relief program for millions of undocumented immigrants who are not a priority for deportation.  These individuals would apply, undergo a background check and receive protection from deportation and work authorization for a temporary period of time.   The program’s criteria could be similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Applicants could be required to demonstrate residence in the U.S. for a certain number of years in the U.S.  There could also be application criteria based on relationship to family members who have immigration or citizenship status in the U.S.


    There have been some who question the President’s authorityto create a broad affirmative relief program.  However, many legal scholars and immigration experts have argued that the President has ample legal authority to create a broad affirmative relief program.  Such a program will improve the administration’s execution of the law and use of enforcement resources to apprehend serious criminals, such as human traffickers and members of drug cartels, and focus on securing the border.  The President’s authority is explained in NILC’s factsheet available here.


    Farmworker Justice is part of a group of labor unions and immigrants’ advocates urging the Administration to provide greater protections for immigrant workers in labor disputes.  Currently, undocumented workers who win a case for being fired for joining a labor union or filing a complaint for sexual harassment cannot obtain reinstatement to their job; for this reason many workers will not take such risks.  Such workers should be eligible for a temporary stay of deportation and work authorization.  Similarly, workers on temporary visas have little recourse to enforce their labor rights because their visas often expire before the case is adjudicated and they are forced to return home.  Worse still, some employers contact immigration authorities to have workers deported if they join a union organizing drive or challenge illegal job practices.  Such retaliation has a profound chilling effect on other workers experiencing rights violations.  Granting deferred action to workers exercising their civil and labor rights would send a strong message to bad-actor employers that they can no longer use the immigration system to exploit workers.  The New York Times Editorial on this issue is available here.


    Business groups including growers’ associations have also beenmeeting with Obama Administration officials to discuss their priorities for administrative relief.  High tech groups are requesting that the Administration make some changes to the high-skilled visa system such as the way that the yearly caps on greencards are counted.


    Despite the fact that over half of the farm labor force is undocumented, there does not appear to be a strong unified push by agribusiness groups for affirmative relief in the form of protection from deportation and work authorization for undocumented farmworkers.  Some groups have asked for reduced immigration enforcement in agriculture.  One growers’ association said that it is not pushing for aggressive executive action because its members do not want to anger Republicans and spoil the chances for legislative action.


    Statements by some agricultural trade associations further indicate that many of them do not support affirmative administrative relief:


    United Fresh Produce Association (representing shippers, processors and marketers) states: “there are unique considerations that agriculture has to deal with and so blanket initiatives may not be as helpful to agriculture as might be intended.”


    AmericanHort (representing nurseries and greenhouses) states: “first “do no harm,” meaning, avoid measures that might accelerate the attrition of agricultural and seasonal workers at a time of worsening labor shortages.”


    Some growers assume that farmworkers who receive work authorization will leave agriculture; therefore, the President should not grant them work authorization and they should remain working in agriculture with the threat of deportation hanging over their heads.


    Farmworker Justice, the United Farm Workers and many others are encouraging the Administration to include farmworkers in any administrative relief program.  It would be morally reprehensible, legally questionable and economically disastrous to exclude farmworkers.  Farmworkers who are undocumented suffer in the form of low pay and poor conditions, and their lack of status should not be perpetuated.  Moreover, agricultural employers should compete in the marketplace by improving wages, benefits and working conditions to retain workers.


    In addition, it is not necessarily true that most farmworkers would leave agriculture upon obtaining relief.  Many people make their careers doing farm work and some lack the education and language skills for other jobs.  More than 20 years after the farmworker legalization program in the 1986 immigration reform, 2007-09 data show that 17% of foreign-born workers still performing agricultural work had been legalized by that program; many others would have aged out, died or were promoted to management.


    Some growers associations are also asking the Obama Administration for changes to the H-2A agricultural guestworker program rules, but one noted that it is unlikely to be an Obama Administration priority.  Farmworker Justice opposes any changes to the H-2A program rules that would lower wages or reduce worker protections for H-2A workers and domestic workers in corresponding employment.  As explained in our H-2A report, No Way to Treat a Guest: Why the H-2A Program Fails US and Foreign Workers, despite the existing protections, H-2A workers are still subject to abuse.  Growers have tried this before.  In 2008, they convinced the outgoing Bush Administration to make changes to the H-2A program rules that lowered wages and reduced protections for workers.  In 2009, the incoming Obama Administration reversed these changes.


    In other news regarding the H-2A program, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, has mounted an impressive campaign this summer to expand the number farmworkers under collective bargaining agreements at employers that use the H-2A program.  FLOC has been pressing the big tobacco corporations to negotiate along with the growers to reach agreements for fair treatment of farmworkers.


    Farmworker Justice continues to press the administration to create a broad, bold affirmative relief program that includes undocumented farmworkers and their families and protects workers.



    Florida: Corte Federal Emite Fallo Indicando que Prohibición al Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo en la Florida es Inconstitucional

    TALLAHASSEE, FL – Hoy, un juez de la corte federal de distrito en Tallahassee sostuvo que la prohibición del matrimonio de la Florida es discriminatoria y no se puede hacer cumplir de acuerdo con la Constitución de Estados Unidos. La decisión se aplica tanto a la concesión de licencias de matrimonio a parejas del mismo sexo en la Florida como al reconocimiento de los matrimonios de parejas del mismo sexo celebrados fuera del estado.

    El fallo del juez es el resultado de dos demandas separadas entre ellas una presentada por la Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles (ACLU, en inglés) de la Florida. La demanda de la ACLU de la Florida desafía la prohibición al reconocimiento del matrimonio en nombre de ocho parejas del mismo sexo casadas, una mujer de Ft. Mujer Myers cuya esposa falleció recientemente, y SAVE, la mayor organización de los derechos LGBT en el Sur de Florida. La demanda con la cual fue consolidada la demanda presentada por la ACLU fue presentada por los abogados de Jacksonville William Sheppard y Samuel Jacobson en nombre de dos parejas -una que busca casarse y otra que trata que su matrimonio sea reconocido en la Florida.
    “Estoy muy contenta de que el estado al que consideramos nuestra hogar pronto reconocerá que lo que Carol y yo tuvimos fue un matrimonio”, afirmó Arlene Goldberg de Fort. Myers, un demandante que se añadió al caso en una querella enmendada después de que su esposa y compañera durante 47 años, Carol Goldwasser, falleciera.

    En su decisión, el juez de distrito Robert L. Hinkle sostuvo que al negar a los demandantes derecho fundamental a contraer matrimonio, la prohibición del matrimonio de la Florida violó el debido proceso y las cláusulas de igualdad de protección de la Constitución de Estados Unidos. También sostuvo que la razón fundamental del Estado para negar el reconocimiento de los matrimonios no sólo no tenía ninguna base racional, pero fallaría incluso un mayor nivel de escrutinio, declarando que “[l] a verdad innegable es que la prohibición de la Florida sobre el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo se deriva totalmente, o casi totalmente, de la desaprobación moral de la práctica “, y que” la desaprobación moral por sí sola no puede sostener “una restricción de matrimonio prohibición a las parejas de distinto sexo.

    En su decisión, el juez de distrito Robert L. Hinkle sostuvo que al negar a los demandantes derecho fundamental a contraer matrimonio, la prohibición del matrimonio de la Florida viola el debido proceso y las cláusulas de igualdad de protección de la Constitución de Estados Unidos. También sostuvo que la razón fundamental del estado para negar el reconocimiento de los matrimonios no tiene ninguna base racional.

    “Estamos encantados de que estas parejas enamoradas y comprometidos pronto podrán tener las mismas protecciones y seguridad para sus familias que cualquier otra pareja casada posee”, afirmó Daniel Tilley, abogado por los derechos LGBT (lesbiana, gay, bisexual y transgénero) de la ACLU de la Florida. “La negativa de la Florida para reconocer sus matrimonios no sirve ningún propósito legítimo, carece de fundamento y hace daño a las familias de la Florida. Estamos muy contentos de ver que se sostenga que dicha prohibición es inconstitucional en términos tan inequívocos de modo que todas las familias de la Florida pronto, finalmente, puedan tener las mismas protecciones “.

    “SAVE está complacido como demandante de que se haya obtenido un fallo favorable en el desafío presentado por la ACLU para reconocer el matrimonio”, declaró el director ejecutivo, Tony SAVE Lima. “Si bien estamos muy contento de que el juez se pusiera en el lado de la justicia, ordenando el estado de Florida reconocer los matrimonios legales de los demandantes, vamos a continuar enfatizando que es responsabilidad de la Florida reconocer los matrimonios legales de todas las parejas del mismo sexo, y no sólo los nombrados como demandantes en nuestro caso. SAVE seguirá abogando por un fallo a favor de la igualdad en la medida en que el tribunal examine el caso con más detalle en las próximas semanas y meses “.

    El caso fue interpuesto contra el gobernador Rick Scott, la procuradora general Pam Bondi y otros funcionarios estatales. Desde la victoria de la ACLU en el caso Estados Unidos contra Windsor, en el que el Tribunal Supremo anuló la principal disposición de la llamada Ley de Defensa del Matrimonio, Florida es el estado número 16 en el cual un tribunal federal revoca una prohibición del matrimonio por considerarla inconstitucional.