Immigration attorney Lucy Rodriguez recently returned from a meeting in Bolivia of the Latin American Labor Attorneys. Rodriguez was there to represent the Labor Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, an organization whose goal is basic and progressive change in our country's political and economic system.
Working from the premise of employment as a basic human right, the Bolivia meeting focused on how best to help immigrants (and even natives) find work, and subsequently organize for their rights. A main point Rodriguez took from the meeting was that attorneys should challenge some of the regressive labor laws that serve to undermine the existence of unions as they render employment elusive. Her observation that more Hispanic immigrants now join unions in this country than do whites underscores the importance of preserving immigrants' rights to work and earn a real wage, in the U.S. and elsewhere.
On Monday, February 25, Rodriguez will speak about "Immigration and Labor Organizing in 2008," covering her efforts to get a fair deal for immigrant workers in northern California at a time when the national immigration debate rages on. The way immigrants are treated is one more human-rights issue that makes a connection to the cause of peace and justice.
Lucy Rodriguez has been practicing law in the Bay Area for 20 years. Born in Colombia, she attended high school, college, and law school in the U.S. Rodriguez worked at the Central American Refugee Center and Catholic Charities before entering private practice; asylum law continues to be a large part of her work. Now a resident of Kensington, she previously lived in Palo Alto and served as a Board member of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center for several years until 2006.
The talk is at 7:30 in Beck Hall of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, 300 E. Santa Inez Avenue (at Ellsworth) in San Mateo. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be on hand; the hall is wheelchair accessible.
Official Website: http://www.sanmateopeaceaction.org
Added by FullCalendar on February 5, 2008