Domestic Violence and the Battle to Control a Woman’s Economic Power

March 16, 2018

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects millions of Americans each year and involves physical violence, psychological abuse, sexual violence and verbal abuse, among other forms of abuse. At its core, domestic violence is a battle for power and control. Specifically, it is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another person in an intimate partner relationship. While domestic violence knows no…


Animating the Right to Organize (VIDEO)

March 6, 2018

Special thanks to Kabita Parajuli for a summary and transcription of our 2016 Right to Organize webinar. The legal right to organize is under attack. When workers try to exercise their right, they are faced with threats, intimidation, harassment, captive audience meetings and firings . Employers spend untold dollars on “union avoidance” consultants, exploiting a loophole in the law that would require them to disclose the amount of money they spend…


Janus: Potential Setback To Unions But Not A Defeat to Labor Organizing

February 28, 2018

There isn’t enough money to organize poor people. There never is enough money to organize anyone. If you put it on the basis of money you’re not going to succeed.  So when we started organizing our union, we knew it had to depend on something other than money.” Cesar Chavez, On Organizing and Money (1971) Janus v. AFSCME is about money.  Money that Mark Janus, a child-support specialist in the…


A Year in Review: We Keep Resisting

February 2, 2018

It has been a year since the presidential election set the record straight, if there was any doubt, that anti-immigrant, anti-Black, and Islamophobic sentiments are being embraced in order to return to a “better America.” Moreover, we witnessed targeted, aggressive and cruel immigration policies by the Trump administration. Despite this hostile political climate, immigrant communities and allies across the United States continued to organize and mobilize through effective direct actions…


DACA and Domestic Violence: Safeguarding Survivors from Deportation

September 28, 2017

Dovie Yoana King is a public interest attorney with two decades of experience assisting low-income immigrants, women and children. She currently works at Harvard Law School. Dovie is also the Founder and Director of SOAR for Justice (, an organization helping survivors of abuse.  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows eligible undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation…


Reflections on Transformative Immigrant Defense

September 11, 2017

Below are brief remarks I gave at a conference hosted by CUNY Law Review on Transformative Immigrant Defense in March 2017.   I post here with some minor edits to offer some reflections on immigrant organizing and the need to support leadership from those most impacted.   I am thrilled to be here today with an  intention of gathering our wisdom around law and organizing with a particular emphasis on immigrant…


Laborers and Organizers: Remember James Connolly & the Struggle for an Irish Workers’ Republic

May 11, 2017

By Val Merlina, J.D. | University of Pittsburgh School of Law ’17 101 years ago, James Connolly was executed for taking part in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland.  An armed rebellion seeking to decolonize Ireland, the Rising helped start the Irish struggle for the end of British social, political, and economic control on the island.  The rebellion brought together linguists, educators, socialists, women, the working poor, and concerned…


Generaciones en Accion: Working together intergenerationally

March 22, 2017

By Amanda Macal, Patricia Veliz Macal, & Carla Osorio Veliz We are three generations of immigrant women from Guatemala. We also have a family bond, as we are grandmother, mother, and daughter working together with the same mission and vision. About five years ago over drinking coffee, we joked around about writing a book about the unconditional labor of love immigrant working-class mothers give towards their children. We felt telling…


School Board Resolutions to Designate Safe Zones

December 19, 2016

Emma Leheny serves as Senior Counsel for the National Education Association, the nation’s largest professional employee organization. For two decades, Leheny has represented unions, low-wage workers, and recipients of government benefits. Leheny previously served as Vice-Chair of the National Immigration Law Center Board of Directors and as Chief Counsel for the California Teachers Association. Anti-immigrant statements by Trump and his supporters have caused anxiety among school children throughout the country….


#DilleyDispatches: Broken

December 18, 2016

By Carlos A. Valenzuela, an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow with the Safe Passage Project; Claire R. Thomas is an attorney with the Safe Passage Project and teaches at New York Law School; Ernie Collette is a Government Benefits and Immigration Attorney at MFY Legal Services; Marilyn E. Alvarado is a first generation college graduate from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and paralegal with Safe Passage Project; Michelle Castaneda is a Ph.D….