Wages Rise on Farms and Americans Still Won't Take Jobs

Arnulfo Solorio’s desperate mission to recruit farmworkers for the Napa Valley took him far from the pastoral vineyards to a raggedy parking lot in Stockton, in the heart of the Central Valley.

Solorio recruiting workers in Stockton.

Carrying a fat stack of business cards for his company, Silverado Farming, Solorio approached one prospect, a man with only his bottom set of teeth. He told Solorio that farm work in Stockton pays $11 to $12 an hour. Solorio countered: “Look, we are paying $14.50 now, but we are going up to $16.” The man nodded skeptically.

Solorio moved on to two men huddled nearby, and returned quickly. “They were drug addicts,” he said. “And, they didn’t have a car.”

Before the day was through, Solorio would make the same pitch to dozens of men and women, approaching a taco truck, a restaurant and a homeless encampment. Time was short: He needed to find 100 workers to fill his ranks by April 1, when grapevines begin to grow and need constant attention.



Immigration Facts: Myth vs Facts


myth_vs_facts1.jpg myth_vs_facts2.jpg

myth_vs_facts3.png myth_vs_facts4.jpg

The Muslim-Latino Collaborative Is A New And Welcome Voice For Justice

As Islam becomes more and more woven into the fabric of American society, new groups are being formed as part of Islam’s historic communitarian outreach toward and concern for civil society in general. A recent organization that bears very honorable mention is the Muslim-Latino collaborative.

Given the orientation of the current Trump administration and the administration’s campaigns, both obvious and subtle, against Muslims and Latinos, the Collaborative is both timely and to the rescue.

To learn more about this important civic addition, The Muslim Observer has interviewed Shakeel Syed, the Muslim initiator of the Collaborative, and a well-known and respected member of both the Muslim and non-Muslim community.



Fee Waiver Assistance for Applicants

We're excited to let you know that OCCORD is now offering fee waiver assistance for citizenship applicants.
Please forward this video message in Spanish to anyone you know who isn't a citizen and who understands Spanish.

Call Governor Brown and urge support for immigration services

As harsh federal immigration policies undermine the well-being of immigrant communities and our State, California must defend due process and bolster affirmative relief from deportations. Deportations separate families, destabilize communities, and cost the State millions of dollars. 

Through a robust investment in the expanded “One California” Immigration Services Funding, a program administered by the Department of Social Services, California can support keeping families together and communities whole. 

California must do everything in its power to protect and advance the rights and opportunities of immigrant communities, as well as reduce both the emotional and economic impact caused by either detention or deportation.



Tell the Governor to support the ongoing $45 million budget allocation for the expanded One California program! Click here to send the Governor an email




Retweet this image by clicking here!

Share the image on your Facebook page by clicking here!

Governor Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841

Call-in script 

Hello, my name is __________ and I am calling to urge Governor Jerry Brown to support the full ongoing $45 million budget allocation for the expanded One California program. This investment can help keep communities together, while reducing the economic and social costs created by heartless deportations. I hope to count on Governor’s Brown support. Thank you.



.@JerryBrownGov, stand w/ immigrant families, support the expanded #OneCalifornia program! #CABudget cc @kdeleon @Rendon63rd (click to tweet)

.@JerryBrownGov, investment for #OneCalifornia expanded program is both comprehensive and fiscally sound! Let's have CA lead! #CABudget (click to tweet)



US Citizenship benefits and steps

Featuring ACLU's Legal Director, Ahilan Arulanantham

Click to view the video.


A U.S. citizen says her rights were violated after she was detained by immigration authorities in San Bernardino

Guadalupe Plascencia said she was alarmed when a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy asked her to sign papers related to her immigration status.

The 59-year-old hairdresser from San Bernardino had spent the night of March 29 in jail because of a decade-old bench warrant related to her alleged failure to appear as a witness in a court case. During her night in jail, Plascencia said a deputy asked her to sign documents acknowledging that officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had inquired about her.

“Why?” Plascencia asked. “I’m an American citizen.”

Confused and scared, Plascencia did as she was asked, assuring herself that the entire ordeal was a mistake that would soon be cleared up.



Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies

The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.

As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.

The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.




Group Urges Contractors Not to Bid on Border Wall

Just days before the preliminary border wall bids are to be submitted,

More Than Forty Civil Rights, Immigration, Labor & Community Groups Urge Companies Not to Bid on Border Wall Contract

Groups call on companies to publicly commit not to profit from multi-billion dollar “symbol of racism & xenophobia”

Read more... 


A Good Strategy for Downtown Inc. Isn’t Necessarily a Good Strategy for Santa Ana


Just because something is good for business doesn’t mean it’s good for the city.

On February 13, Downtown Inc.’s Ryan Smolar put forth their vision for Santa Ana in 2017. Downtown Inc. reflects on their successes in marketing and promoting Santa Ana as a destination for tourists, entrepreneurs, and investors, and sets out goals for stimulating the business climate in the city. It’s a business plan, but it’s presented as a collaborative civic vision for Santa Ana.

Some of this is understandable. A business group like Downtown Inc. is not a community group. They’re going to have different goals, a different vision, different metrics for success.

But while we respect that Downtown Inc’s vision is naturally business-focused, we can’t respect their claims that they want to address issues like homelessness or poverty in Santa Ana, or that they want to create a downtown with economic opportunity for all. Downtown Inc. has outlined a strategy in which new businesses and developers, tourists, and high-income transplants can thrive in Santa Ana. This strategy fails to address the needs of Santa Ana’s residents. And according to the same resources that Smolar cites in support, it is extremely likely to exacerbate homelessness and poverty in the city.

A key goal for Downtown Inc. is to “lead the development of a creative economy.” Smolar mentions urban scholars Jane Jacobs and Richard Florida as inspirations for Downtown Inc.’s community vision, and vaguely mentions “the latest books on ‘Smart Urbanism’” as guides. Yet research is very clear that Florida’s strategy of encouraging creative class economic clusters is economically beneficial primarily to the creative and professional class itself, and detrimental to blue-collar and service sector workers, who make up the majority of Santa Ana residents.