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    Because the growth of a community is bound to its resources.
  • Civic Participation

    Because your voice is the greatest threat to injustice.

  • Making the Difference

    Because yes, we can.
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ABC's Tiempo interviews La Fuente (Pt. 4) - 1.19.14

La Fuente and the Northwest Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights discuss the push to give undocumented immigrants a driver's license in New York.

Our Blog

City and State Leaders Announce Partnership to Address Notario Fraud

The exciting announcement came last week after years of hard work by grassroots organizations like La Fuente, and improved visibility for the issue in light of the President's executive action on immigration announced in November. A press release from the Mayor's office highlighted the following:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the formation of a new joint task force to target those who prey on immigrants, while encouraging victims of fraud to come forward without fear.

The joint task force will focus on rooting out a variety of abuses targeting immigrants, but particularly the unauthorized practice of law, commonly known as “notario fraud,” or “immigrant service provider fraud.”

New York State’s Immigration Assistance Service Enforcement Act establishes protections for immigrants who use the services of individuals or businesses that falsely represent themselves as certified legal advisers for citizenship and other issues. The law, which went into effect on February 6, 2015, stiffens penalties and adds new penalties, both criminal and civil, for violations of the Act.

The president’s recent executive action will lead many immigrants to search for legal assistance to navigate the new rules, potentially creating an opportunity for service providers or scam artists to take advantage of immigrants. Unauthorized immigration consultants can create delays in the application process, cost applicants unnecessary fees and possibly even lead to removal proceedings.

“For organizations like La Fuente, the fight against fraudulent legal service providers who target immigrants aspiring to legal status has been daunting,” said Lucia Gomez, Executive Director, La Fuente. “The announcement that Mayor de Blasio and State Attorney General Schneiderman will launch a joint Anti-Immigration Fraud Task Force demonstrates a commitment to addressing head-on an issue that has plagued our immigrant communities for decades. This laudable effort will provide immigrant communities across the state a more robust effort to ensure predators are reported and dealt with by the proper authorities. With this announcement, New York has once again demonstrated its commitment to advancing immigrant rights and recognizing the value of its diverse population.”

On April 12th, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will co-host an executive action legal screening for immigrant New Yorkers who might be eligible for the DACA/DAPA programs. While implementation of these programs is temporarily on hold, providing reliable information and combating abuse is more important than ever. This legal screening event will mark an important citywide collaboration between the city’s largest legal service providers and immigration advocacy groups to create a large-scale legal clinic.

The event will be held on April 12th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, located at East 65th Street, Manhattan. For more information: nyc.gov/deferredaction.

To report complaints regarding immigration services, contact the Attorney General’s Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.


Read the full release in our Press section above!

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La Fuente Joins Amicus Brief Supporting Administrative Relief!

Earlier this month, La Fuente supplied testimony to an amicus brief that will be submitted before a federal court on April 17th. The court will be deciding whether or not to overturn a ruling by a district court in Texas that is for now blocking the roll-out of the Administrative Relief plan announced by President Obama in November. Our Executive Director Lucia Gómez was quoted:

“As a Tri-State community-labor based immigrant rights organization building civic awareness at the grassroots level, La Fuente has a substantial interest in the outcome of this case,” explained Lucia Gómez, Executive Director of La Fuente, which organizes and advocates for working immigrants. “The delays caused by a minority of extreme voices in the implementation of President Obama’s proposed administrative relief initiative have a direct impact on workers and the communities in which they live around the country. Creating long-lasting obstacles to implementation will only hold our nation back from realizing the full economic potential of its immigrant population.”

Check out the press release in our "Press" section above.

Read the full brief here: http://bit.ly/1HNNWWO

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Why does the vote matter? Views of a Fellow on: The November 4, 2014 Mid-Term Elections


by Andre Mozeak Thursday, October 30, 2014

It hurts our sensibility to think that most people willingly throw away good opportunities, however when election time rolls around the hard reality about one such chance to affect long-term change is plain. It’s perfectly summed up by a pun in Spanish, imparted on this writer by an impassioned voter at a doorstep in Washington Heights: “Todo el mundo piensa que se vota la basura” he told me, agitated at the thought. All I got at first was “Everyone thinks that the trash votes”, until I walked a few buildings down and noticed a sign over a garbage chute that read “bota la basura aqui”; botar meaning “to throw something (out)”. Anyone familiar with the historical B and V switch descended from Old Spanish might see the man’s intention. His critique was, essentially, that too many people “throw away” their vote.

Voter inactivity cuts society with two edges. One candidate losing to another is the most obvious consequence, but is arguably of lesser importance. The second result of low turnout, small demographic slices to be counted by statisticians, has much broader effects on long-term platform planning, resource allocation, and candidate selection. It should be persuasive enough to show people that 20 minutes spent going to the polls is a worthwhile four-year investment (or more, in the case of Judges); in the grand scheme of things though, the investment is much larger.

It is crucial that our members and their communities add themselves to the ever important turnout percentages this year. No matter who comes out ahead, the next set of candidates in a few years will know that minorities and workers specifically will hold them accountable, and would likely aim to please both groups by committing larger platform attention to their interests. This is the difference between an elected official who “supports the working class” in name, and one who wants to come to your street to make sure your garbage gets picked up. This weekend, along with trick-or-treaters, expect plenty of hard-working Get Out the Vote volunteers to come knocking. They certainly still deserve candy, but more importantly, make sure to give them a few minutes of your time and the assurance that they’ll see you at your poll site. Please: vote early, vote late, just make sure to “vota y no bota la oportunidad!”

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Press Release: Advocates Stand Strong on New York State Dream Act


New York State DREAM Act Coalition

For Immediate Release:

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Contact:  Lucia Gomez

Phone: 201-988-8824

E-mail: lgomez@lafuenteinc.org

Press Release

Advocates Stand Strong for the

New York State DREAM Act

Albany - In the final hours of New York State budget negotiations, the New York State Dream Act Coalition issued the following statement:

“The NYSDAC remains firm in its commitment to seeing the DREAM Act become a reality this year, and calls upon Governor Cuomo and New York’s legislative leaders to include it in the state budget.  Thousands of students depend on access to state funded grants like TAP, and in funding the New York State Dream Act, lawmakers would enable all academically qualified New York high school graduates, regardless of immigration status, to afford the higher education they need to lead successful, productive lives.  The NYSDAC understands that compromise is a key component of the budget process, but lawmakers cannot allow young people who aspire to live the American dream to be a casualty of the process.  The New York State DREAM Act Coalition has never and will never accept anything less than the DREAM Act for New York's undocumented youth.  Expediency cannot come at the expense of long-term commitment to New York’s youth – our future. 

Because the stakes for Dreamers are so high, the NYSDAC is resolute in continuing its call on the Governor and legislative leaders to include funding for the NYS DREAM Act in the state budget before the April 1st budget deadline.  There is no budgetary excuse for failure:  the cost of the DREAM Act is estimated at $27 million – a mere 2% of current TAP aid – a small increase that would be an enormous life changer for thousands of NY young people and a significant investment in the economic future of our state.  In short, the DREAM Act is a win for Dreamers and a win for all New Yorkers.  It must become law this year."

The New York State Dream Act Coalition is an alliance of labor, community, education and student organizations working together to make the dream of education equity and financial aid a reality for the undocumented youth of New York.


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One Billion People on the Move! Views of a Fellow on: Global Migration, the UN, and Sustainability


by Andre Mozeak Friday, October 17th, 2014

We rarely get the chance to appreciate our impact on the global debate over effective migration policy; our local work has been important, but problems facing moving populations worldwide can sometimes seem totally overwhelming. Still, with a careful eye out for happenings in the international arena, it’s refreshing to notice the much needed activity going on at the United Nations regarding the role of global migration in sustainable development. Among other things, the creation of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda could serve as a progressive action plan for the United States on challenges facing immigration and ethnic plurality.

Recently, I attended a conference at the UN for youth from grassroots organizations to learn about some early proposals for items on the agenda. While the issues tackled by panelists at the discussion were wide-ranging, they only narrowly touched upon migration and what a sustainable future for migrants should look like. Away from the panel and speaking with other audience members however, I noted a deep interest in La Fuente’s civic participation work and other avenues for better policies of inclusion.

The national and international presence represented at the conference was highly encouraging. Youth representatives from places like Colombia, Kansas, and Germany attended; each one experiencing migration in a different way in their home setting. A common conviction held by youth in the group and promoted briefly in the panel discussion was that a multilateral approach is needed to support migrants, destination countries, and departure countries if we want to achieve true sustainability. Sustainable goals need social justice.

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