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The official newsletter of the Filipino American Legal Defense & Education Fund
Volume II, Issue I
• We believe in justice • We believe in reliability • We believe in integrity • We believe in service to others
A Message from General Counsel Steven S. Siegel
It has been a great privilege and a great pleasure to serve as General Counsel to the Filipino Legal Defense and Education Fund. There can be no achievement of justice without dexterity in the judicial process. Fine lawyers both navigate and advocate for parties in the assertion of their rights. The attorneys associated with this organization have served with dignity, generosity, and tremendous focus. The attorneys have never complained and have accepted their responsibilities without hesitation. A Judicial System is valueless without access. Access has no value without energetic advocacy. Our attorneys who have served have achieved great accomplishments in representing those least able to assert and protect their rights. Rights without remedies are the equivalent of no rights at all. It takes great courage to stand up for yourself when you are relatively new to this country, and it is for these people that the attorneys of FALDEF serve as a sturdy backbone and broad shoulders. At the outset of my involvement as General Counsel I was allowed to enter the archives of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and had the great privilege to review the original brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in The Matter of Brown v. The Board of Education. Focusing on the hand written notes of Justice Thurgood Marshall it was clear that the matter was not just legal but also personal to him. It is my wish that the matters brought to the FALDEF be handled vigorously but also personally. To date I have not been disappointed.
Inside this issue:
Message from General Counsel Steven
FALDEF Meets Atty. 1 General of NY FALDEF offers legal 2 assistance to Filipinos exploited by 7Eleven PATH for DREAMs FREE Legal Clinic A Dreamer’s Story In Retrospect Phil. Independence Day Celebration FALDEF & UniPro Get to Know the Interns Live Band @ Payag DSE TrailBlazer Awards
2 3 4
5 6 6 7 7
FALDEF Meets with the Office of the Attorney General of New York
On June 24, 2013, the Philippine Consulate General of New York, FALDEF and NaFFAA met with the Office of the Attorney General of NY to primarily discuss the issue of labor trafficking.
Media & Non-profits 8 Thank you DCG NYIC Workshop Donation Form 8 9 10
Atty. Harlan Levy, Deputy Chief Attorney General of NY and 2 State prosecutors with L-R: Consul Bong Carino of PCGNY, Atty. JT Mallonga and Atty Patricia Astorga of FALDEF; 7th from left is Con. Gen. Mario De Leon of PCGNY, 9th from left is Atty Steven Siegel of FALDEF and Atty. Merit Salud of NaFFAA R1
FALDEF Offers Legal Assistance to Filipinos exploited by 7-Eleven
As reported in the Inquirer, Global Nation, Several 7-Eleven convenience stores in Long Island, New York and Virginia are under investigation for allegedly exploiting Filipino immigrants under a scheme similar to that of a "modern-day plantation system" where their wages are withheld and their employment concealed under stolen identities. In line with FALDEF's mission to provide pro bono legal services to Filipinos who are victims of legal injustice and, in conjunction with the Philippine Embassies/Consulates’ mandate to help "disadvantaged" Filipinos, FALDEF would like to offer its legal services to any and all Filipinos - as well as to Non-Filipinos- who have been or are currently employed by any of these 7-Eleven establishments located in the states of New York and Virginia. FALDEF is most willing to work with both the New York Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Embassy in rendering legal assistance to all Filipino 7-Eleven victims (former or current employees) in both the states of New York and Virginia. If you know anyone who's a victim of this labor trafficking, please contact FALDEF President, Atty. JT Mallonga at (646) 399-6463 email us at email@example.com .
FALDEF Pres. JT Mallonga
“ No nation does or should get ahead at the peril of its workers.“
~ US Sec. of Labor, Hilda L. Solis
PATH for DREAMS Initiative: Providing Access To Hope
FREE LEGAL CLINIC
To make an appointment, call (212) 2211888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Officers and volunteers from FALDEF, NaFFAA, PCGNY, UniPro, SABANY & FALANY)
HELP WANTED: Marketing and Communications Interns Send your resume to email@example.com Visit our Blog for details.
Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund (FALDEF) held an event at the Philippine Consulate in New York on Friday June 7th, 2013. It was a free legal clinic that had a plethora of lawyers with a wide variety of different specializations. The lawyers for the event ranged from various fields including immigration, prosecution, and criminal and even included a judge. The team that was involved in this event was highly prepared to tackle any case presented to them. There was a sense of diversity and well-rounded professionalism in the room. Not even the heavy summer rain could stop the volunteers from FALDEF, National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region 1 (NaFFAA R1), Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro) , Filipino American Lawyers of NY (FALANY), South Asian Bar Association of NY (SABANY) and the Philippine Consulate of New York. (PCGNY)
A Dreamer’s Story: John Quidilla
Hi my name is John Quidilla. I live here in Plano, Texas with my family. I moved to here in March 1999 with my family for my father’s work with a Visa. I finished middle school, high school, and started college here. On July 20, 2008 my father passed away. Along with this my family’s Green card process was stopped. My mom and siblings were able to retain their legal status, but my application for a student Visa was denied. My family and I thought it would be best for me to finish college here and go from there. In November of 2011 I was picked up by I.C.E. early morning at my home. I was detained and taken to a detention center to be questioned. I waited in a holding cell for a couple of hours but was released on bail and allowed to go home later that day.
“ FALDEF brought the "New York" way to Texas, and helped me stay with family and friends.”
~ John Quidilla, FALDEF client
My mom searched for lawyers and found FALDEF. She called them to ask for help and they agreed to work on my case. After 3 court dates, President Obama’s executive order and 8 months after filing for DACA, I finally get my Employment Authorization card. Thanks to the help and support of FALDEF, Phil-Am Chamber of Commerce of Texas, friends and family that I am still here today. You can watch John Quidilla’s video testimonial in our website, blog and YouTube Channel.
“Rights without remedies are the equivalent of no rights at all. It takes great courage to stand up for yourself when you are relatively new to this country, and it is for these people that the attorneys of FALDEF serve as a sturdy backbone and broad shoulders.”
~ Gen. Counsel Steven S. Siegel
Volume II, Issue Page 4I
April 2013 April 2013 CUNY School of Law. May 2013 Kinding Sindaw Panel Discussion on Immigration: June 2013 Filipinos in the USA July 2013 with “We’re Partnership the Changing Face of America” Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW) Townhall Meeting (NY) New York City Immigrant Heritage Week Symposium: State of Undocumented Immigrant Rights and Resources (NY) May 2013 National Council of Asian Pacific Americans 2013 Policy Summit (Washington, DC) SPECIAL EDITION: FILHARMONIC Band Benefit Show for FALDEF @ Payag (Queens, NY) June 2013 Pilipino American Unity for Progress - UniPro Summit 2013. Atty. JT Mallonga, Guest Speaker (NY) Philippine Independence Day Parade PATH for DREAMs FREE DACA Legal Clinic Philippine Independence Day Gala Night (NJ) NLI Certification Ceremonies Filharmonic Band Summer Solstice Special Edition @ Payag With Senator Chiz Escudero |
Page 4 Defend.Serve.Educate Defend.Serve.Educate The official newsletter of the Filipino American Legal Defense &
In Retrospect In Retrospect
With Kinding Sindaw and Filipino Association of Hunter College |
With Ambassador Cuisia
“Rights without remedies are the equivalent of no rights at all. “
~ Gen. Counsel Steven S. Siegel
With Fair Hiring and Verite CEO, Marie Apostol
at PAFCOM Ball with Mayor Steve Fullop and Chairman Edwin Solano | with former Phil. Pres. Fidel Ramos
Volume II, Issue I
FALDEF at the 115th Philippine Independence Day Celebration
With former Phil. Secretary of Interior and Local Government
In Jersey City on Immigration Affairs At the NY parade and PIDC Gala Night
With Safe Horizon Interns and lawyers on human trafficking
FALDEF Directors and supporters with ABS-CBN’s Don Tagala and Asian Journal’s Momar Visaya
FALDEF joined in the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day on June 1, 2013 . Some of our representatives marched during the parade and others manned the booth at the street fair. We promoted our June 7, 2013 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legal clinic while distributing flyers and informational pamphlets. We also had the opportunity to answer various questions about FALDEF and Deferred Action.
With UniPro and Filipino Student Associations
at Timonium Fairgrounds in Maryland which was hosted by the Katipunan- Filipino Association of Maryland
With NaFFAA, PCGNY & UniPro
The Partnership Between FALDEF and UniPro
By Randi Gonzales, Director Legal Counsel Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro) The partnership between UniPro and FALDEF is a strong one and dates all the way back to the early days of both organizations. Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc., also known as UniPro, was established in 2009 and is a New York City-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of young professionals and students with the objective of obtaining unity, understanding and progress in the Pilipino community and the community at large through collaboration, education and the facilitation of dialogue. One of UniPro's most important functions is to support and assist all Pilipino organizations in any way possible, whether it be through event or program attendance, promotion, assistance with production and/or execution, among other functions. UniPro members were and are regular attendees and volunteers at FALDEF's numerous legal clinics, workshops and panel discussions; especially the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Randi Gonzales with FALDEF immigration law clinics being held as of late. UniPro also recently produced and sponsored, with Director Licelle Cobrador FALDEF, the State of Undocumented Immigrant Rights in New York City event at the Philippine Consulate on April 18, 2013. This was a panel discussion and open forum describing how various organizations provide resources and services to underserved and undocumented immigrants in the New York City area. UniPro has partnered with NaFFAA (the National Federation of Filipino American Associations) and FALDEF for the One Vote One Nation Campaign, an initiative to get Filipino Americans to register and vote in national and local elections. UniPro members have also participated with FALDEF in assisting with AALDEF's (the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund) national efforts to conduct poll monitoring and exit poll surveys in recent elections, ensuring fair elections and compiling important information from Asian voters. UniPro looks forward to continuing and strengthening its partnership with FALDEF, and, in turn, improving the Pilipino community for many years to come.
Get To Know Our Interns
Miguel Garcia-Ataupillco is one of the dedicated interns who volunteers his time and talent for FALDEF. He is also an accomplished salsa instructor, and has led FALDEF’s Salsa Night. DSE: "Can you tell us something about yourself?" MGA: "Well, I was born in 1989 in Lima-Peru and I came to this country when I was 13 years old. After a few months of volunteering in a different organizations, Cecilia Mejia (FALDEF's Director of Development) brought me to FALDEF." DSE: "How long have you been volunteering for FALDEF?" MGA: "I have been volunteering for almost a year now. About 10 months." DSE: "What's the most important thing that you get from volunteering for FALDEF?" MGA: "I think the most important thing that I learned from FALDEF is to assist people in a different perspective, which is the legal aspect in terms of immigration." DSE: "Any future plans? MGA: "I graduated from Hunter College in December 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. I'm planning to go to Law School."
L-R: Fellow intern Shawn, Miguel and FALDEF Pres. Atty. JT Mallonga
Volume II, Issue I
Live Band Night at Payag featuring Fil-Harmonic for the benefit of FALDEF
By Cecilia R. Mejia
On Friday, May 17, Payag Restaurant, in Sunnyside Queens, hosted a benefit show for the Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The show was part of a Live Band Series that the restaurant hosts. The night featured the most popular band of the series, the FilHarmonic Band, who so bigheartedly put on a show in support of the organization. Guest of FALDEF, FilHarmonic and PAYAG joined in a night of music, laughter, and good times. Thanks to the generous donation of Hocus Focus Inc, there was also a photo booth set up for guests to enjoy. The night was a success in many ways, more importantly the work of FALDEF was brought to the attention of those in the Community, as Payag Manager so adamantly stated, “Every Filipino should be supporting your organization.”
Chairman Rivas and daughter at the Payag benefit
GET INVOLVED. Let your talents and interests lead you to your own
fundraising endeavor for FALDEF. Contact our Director of Funding at fundraising@faldef,org
SAVE THE DATE: October 26, 2013 @ 7PM 1st DSE Gala & Awards Night
Chairman Rivas, Budd Deauna and Engineer Roger Alama
Now Accepting Nominations for the 1st DSE Trailblazer Awards
Nominations for the 2013 DSE Trailblazer Awards should be submitted to DSEawards@faldef.org and should include a brief description of the individual's accomplishments (300 words max), a testimonial on how the individual's contributions to the community reflects FALDEF's mission to Defend, Serve and Educate (300 words max) and a photo of the nominee. Awardees will be selected by FALDEF's DSE Committee based on a careful review of the submissions and the public's votes. Once the nominee accepts his/her nomination, we will post his/her photo on the FALDEF's FaceBook page along with the bio and testimonial and the public may vote by "liking" the nominee's photo. Here are the criteria: Defend - The Defense Award is designated for an attorney whose work on behalf of the Filipino/minority immigrant community has had national and/or international impact. The recipient must demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting justice and social change both in and out of the courtroom. Serve - The Service Award is designated for an individual from any sector whose dedication to public service has had a significant impact on the community, national, or international level. The individual's overall accomplishments must reflect the high tradition of selfless public service that is at the core of FALDEF's mission. Educate - The Education Award is designated for an individual from any sector whose work has contributed significantly to the education of the public on social and/or political issues that are highly relevant to minority immigrant communities. The individual's work must reflect FALDEF's mission to empower the community through education. Important Deadlines: September 15. Last day to submit nominations. October 1. Last day for online voting through FaceBook. October 15. DSE Selection Committee Final voting tallies.
Volume II, Issue Page 8 I
Page 8 Defend.Serve.Educate The
Note to Non-profits: Get to Know the Media and Use Them to Your Advantage
May 2013 DC Pastor by Cristina June 2013 universe we no longer recognize today, there used to be this border separating a journalist from an activist. A journalIn a media ist reported the news with utmost accuracy and objectivity, and an advocate usually made the news with his motivation and his July 2013 Never the twain shall meet. message. Today, such a division is still recognized but not really practiced. Often, it is blurred by the dual roles they assign to themselves. A journalist can now become an advocate and it is becoming acceptable for an advocate to also be the narrator of his own story. The rise of social media has enabled individuals to speak often without the need for a publicist, in the case of some celebrities, or without waiting for a journalist to seek an interview. When Angelina Jolie revealed in a New York Times essay about her double mastectomy, she was not just revealing her family history of being breast cancer-prone but also urging women prone to breast cancer to be gene-tested, a radical message even for some feminists. Whoever the messenger and by whatever means, the media ought to be a lifetime partner of non-profit organizations. It could be a message given to newspapers and radio/television or disseminated via Facebook and Twitter. The media helps explain the message in cogent, analytical or humorous ways depending on the audience. When Pulitzer Award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas began to speak out on immigration reform, his conversations with Americans brought him from Capitol Hill to Comedy Central, his audience as varied as blue-collar folks to conservatives to comedians. His message has resonated with all types of audiences, not just those in the undocumented community. In a way, this makes Vargas not just an accomplished journalist but a very effective campaigner as well. Vargas used the pages of The New York Times to expose himself as an undocumented immigrant, following that up very quickly with social media posts and images about his thoughts and opinions on immigration issues. He is followed by hundreds of thousands not all of them fans. Some cynics and critics do follow him, but Vargas is probably the first to welcome contrary opinions, the better to explain issues when they are challenged. Non-profit organizations should learn the specific functions and audience of the media. forms, like newspapers, radio and “Rights without remedies are Traditional the equivalent of no rights at all. “television, will likelyCounsel cater toSteven the older, Boomer generation, while Facebook, ~ Gen. S. Siegel tweets and blogs will find penetration among much younger Americans. Knowing these, non-profit organizations should learn to tailor their message and language in ways that would appeal to those demographics. Many non-profits are now finding it necessary to hire writers who know their way around social media with the same urgency as hiring program officers. They realize that important messages need not languish in the company drawer because a skilled media practitioner would make sure it gets the widest attention.
The Fil-Am Press Club with FALDEF client, Jose Antonio Vargas.
Cristina DC Pastor is the founding editor of The FilAm – Thefilam.net – a magazine for Filipinos in the New York Tri-State.
A Community Says Thank You to Deputy Consul General Tess Dizon De Vega
Join us to express our gratitude to DCG and wish her good-luck as she leaves her post to return to the Philippines in a new capacity as the Chief of Staff of the Hon. Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Albert del Rosario. Despite her very short tenure, her leadership has been pivotal in creating various platforms in bringing about an empowered and united community not only in the Eastern seaboard but across the United States. Share your thoughts and well wishes in the Friends and Fans of DCG FaceBook page: www.facebook.com/FansofDCG
DCG, thank you for your overwhelming support for FALDEF!
Page 9 FILIPINO AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE & EDUCATION FUND
4 West 43rd St, Suite 505 New York, NY 10036 Phone: 212-221-1888 Fax: 212-221-7337 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Defend. Serve. Educate
FALDEF Completes New York Immigration Coalition Workshop
by Marie Aunio
We are on the Web!
It is but fitting. A partnership that began in April during the 10th Immigrant Heritage Week was further strengthened in the following months of May and June. The fortuitous joint event that began it all was the “State of Undocumented Immigrants Rights and Resources in NYC” which was hosted by PCGNY, FALDEF, NaFFAA and UniPro and held at the Philippine Consulate. As FALDEF’s pro-bono legal defense mission is to serve the community without discrimination of race and creed, working with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) is a perfect match. FALDEF Directors and officers participated in the skill building workshop offered by MOIA and The New York Community Trust, in partnership with Citizens Committee for New York City. Emerging immigrant leaders that came from Asia, Africa and Latin America took part in the 12th year of a program whose intent is to empower, and thereby unite and continue the greatness that is New York. Each of the five boroughs of NY (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens) ran five 3-hour sessions which were staggered between the months of April to June. FALDEF found itself in the Jackie Robinson Youth Center in Harlem on Tuesday evenings sitting amongst Presidents, Executive Directors, officers of organizations who are also deeply committed to community service and, tapping resources wherever and however possible. Together, under the guidance of their instructor, Emi Wang, they covered materials on how to navigate city government, organize communities, create a network of community partners, grassroots fundraising, and emergency preparedness. In the interactive learning environment, ‘students’ found themselves teaching and learning from each other as well. Having met the required minimum of four workshop attendance, FALDEF was duly recognized via the commencement ceremony on June 18th at Emigrant Savings Bank among all the other graduates. It became a great opportunity to speak a bit about FALDEF to an audience of over 200 people who were in attendance. It was serendipitous for FALDEF to have represented the borough of Manhattan to the graduating class on how the program was and what they got out of it. The Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs for MOIA, Ms. Fatima Shama, herself served as master of ceremonies. She who is of Palestinian and Brazilian heritage, born and bred in the Bronx, raising her young family of three boys in NY with her husband and, the best of all, being the first graduate of the same program spoke powerfully and convincingly on the merits of being involved in this workshop. She shared her journey which began in the dark depths of 9/11. In dealing and healing the hatred and discrimination that arose from that tragic day, was born this initiative. Considering one of the ‘lab rats’ of this program turned out to be Commissioner of the only Immigrant office in the United States 12 years later, need we say more?
www.faldef.org www.facebook.com/FALDEF www.faldef.blogspot.com www.twitter.com/faldef1 UPCOMING EVENTS Every week FREE Legal Clinic To make an appointment cal (212) 221-1888 or email us at email@example.com July 10, 2013 Despedida Party for DCG October 26, 2013 The First Annual DSE GALA Night EDITORIAL STAFF Editor: Jen Furer Contributors Patricia Astorga Marie Aunio Licelle Cobrador Randi Gonzales Cecilia Mejia Cristina DC Pastor Photo credits: Cely Deauna Joven Jose Merit Salud Ramon Tinana Questions? Suggestions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Defend.Serve.Educate is published quarterly.
“ New York City is not a mosaic but a mixture of communities.“
~ NYC Mayor Bloomberg
FALDEF, is uniquely set-up as the Filipino American legal defense group, of national scope, in the United States. Based in New York, it provides pro bono legal services to Filipinos and members of the Filipino-American community who are suffering from legal injustices. FALDEF is equally committed to voter education and protection, and is focused on fighting human trafficking through prosecution, training, education and victim support in the Philippines. For more information please visit www.faldef.org
Volume II, Issue I
Your generous contribution will allow FALDEF to continue to defend, serve, and educate the Filipino-American community and other migrant communities, which will benefit our society as a whole. FALDEF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that was created to empower the Filipino-American community so that they could achieve their full potential as productive contributors to their families and communities. We truly appreciate your support. You can make your donation online (www.faldef.org) or you can fax/mail your to: FALDEF 4 West 43rd Street, Suite 505 New York, New York 10036 Phone: 212-221-1888 Fax: 212-221-7337 Any questions or concerns please contact: email@example.com
Your information: First Name: _________________________________ Last Name: ________________________________ Street: _______________________________________________________________________________ City: ________________________State: _____________________ Zip code: ______________________ Phone number: __________________________________________________________________ Email Address: ________________________________________________________________________ Donation: __ One time contribution of: __ $10 __$25 __ $ 50 __ $100 ____Other $______ __ Recurring contribution of: $___________________________________________ __ Enclosed is a check (made out to Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.) __ Kindly charge the credit card below. __ American Express __ Discover __ Master __ Visa Card holder’s name______________________________________________________________ Card #____________________________________ Exp. Date ____________________________ Signature ______________________________________________________________________ __ This donation is made in honor of: ______________________________________________________ Kindly send acknowledgement of this gift to: Name: ______________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________ __ I give permission to FALDEF to list me as a supporter on their website and other publications.
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