September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document


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Title:A day of hope: Farmingdale day laborers earn diplomas for learning English and their rights as laborers

Author:Rodolpho Castillo


Original Language:Spanish

Translator:Telesh Lopez




Body:The situation for two day laborers from Farmingdalewho were nearly killed two years ago when two white men attacked themseems to be looking up.

Thanks to the hard work of activists like Irma Solis of the Center for Labor Rights (CDL), about 15 day laborers from Farmingdale have received diplomas after finishing courses in English and labor rights. They celebrated their triumph at Eisenhower Park with a barbecue and music in the company of the activist from CDL.

But some of the people defending the laborers want to go further. We dont want the workers to waste their time while waiting for someone to hire them, said Gabriel Martinez of the organization HOLA. We want them to learn a trade such as carpentry, plumbing and others so they can have more opportunities to progress.

The organization HOLA is run by a group of professionals dedicated to helping the day laborers of Farmingdale. They helped designate a single location where many laborers wait for contractors to hire them to do some yard work, construction and other activities. HOLA is working with members from Citizens For Viable Solutions who considered finding the site a great triumph. About 150 laborers use the site, avoiding protests from the neighbors.

This is a great victory, said activist Janet Liotta, who worked with Patricia and Leo Marcotte, Mari Zirkal and Michael Grillo to advocate the laborers rights to Farmingdale Mayor Joseph Trudden.

Last year, groups that oppose the presence of day laborers in Long Island organized anti-immigrant meetings in California, Chicago, Pennsylvania and other states, demanding that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) raid laborers waiting on corners for work.

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