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Pablo Alvarado
Pablo Alvarado is the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)

NDLON improves the lives of day laborers in the United States. To this end, NDLON works to unify and strengthens is member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize, and organize day laborers in order to protect and expand their civil, labor and human rights. NDLON fosters safer more humane environments for day laborer, both men and women, to earn a living, contribute to society, and integrate into the community.

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Entries by Pablo Alvarado

The President's Deportation Quota Is More Offensive Than Rep. Steve King's Idiocy

(26) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 4:21 PM

When Barack Obama said he needed a "dance partner" in Congress to reform immigration law, he might not have been thinking of Steve King, but King has proven to be Obama's best accomplice in what constitutes the perfect political crime.

With Republicans' unmasked bigotry, the president can...

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How to Close the Distance Between Washington and the Reality of Immigration

(13) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 12:01 PM

Last week, an exchange between Jeff Flake, Janet Napolitano, and Chuck Schumer exemplified all that is wrong with the way in which immigration gets discussed within Washington and how far removed the beltway is from the daily reality and aspirations of people who are marching for immigrant rights this week.

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Seize the Moment: 6 Concrete Immigration Steps for the President

(86) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 3:09 PM

After his reelection, speculation has begun about what the second term of President Obama will mean for immigrant communities.  While we breathed a sigh of relief following the defeat of Mitt Romney and his self-deportation politics, it would be irresponsible for us to return to 2008 levels of hope for...

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Day Laborers Will Be Key to Recovery After the Storm

(2) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 9:32 AM

When storms like Sandy strike we are reminded of how much we need each other and of how dependent on each other we are for our own wellbeing. Bearing down for the storm exposes our uneven resources and the fragility of our daily lives. Making it through shows us the monumental...

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"Secure Communities:" End it, Don't Mend it

(183) Comments | Posted March 24, 2012 | 7:17 AM

Any day now Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will announce a second round of "reforms" to the disgraced "Secure Communities" deportation program, S-Comm. And once again, it appears that ICE is more interested in spin than substance. The timing of the announcement--immediately before the DHS Office of Inspector General Report--seems...

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Manu Chao: A Heartfelt Song in Arizona

(5) Comments | Posted December 2, 2011 | 12:13 PM

Most people didn't believe the rumors when we announced that the global pop star, Manu Chao, would be ending his U.S. tour to support the local movement with a free "Alto Arizona" concert in Phoenix last September.

But when the...

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Georgia Still on My Mind

(4) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 2:38 PM

During the hearing on Georgia's HB 87, a replication of Arizona's notorious SB 1070, Judge Thomas Thrash posed a hypothetical scenario: an 18-year-old man is driving his mother to church. He is a citizen, while his mother is not. Under HB 87, would the son be a criminal?...

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What the Government Should Be Verifying: Jobs, Safety, and Training

(5) Comments | Posted June 14, 2011 | 5:38 PM

In America, we desperately need to address the hardships everyday people increasingly face. As Rep. Lamar Smith points out, unemployment rates in the U.S. have reached nearly 10%. Those who do have jobs increasingly face lower wages, longer hours, and less protections at the work site.

To address the challenges...

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The Battle of Arizona... in California

(5) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 3:09 PM

Californians took a turn against the Arizonification of immigration policy and took a step toward standards we expect and the oversight we deserve when the state passed the TRUST Act out of its assembly's public safety committee this week.

The modest bill meant to improve public safety, foster transparency,...

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Arpaio Interrupts Arizona's 'Breathing Room'

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 12:59 PM

When the omnibus package of anti-immigration bills proposed by Senate President Russell Pearce failed to pass, commentators suggested that Arizona was ready to take a breath on the immigration debate.

Any breathing room that existed however quickly filled with the hot air and dangerous dramatics...

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When War is Peace and 'Secure Communities' Means 'Deportation': Orwell as Advisor to the President

(8) Comments | Posted March 28, 2011 | 11:01 AM

When President Obama visited my native country of El Salvador he spoke of legalization while back in the US Salvadorans like Maria Bolaños face deportation.

Maria, like too many others, may be deported because of backward police work that booked her into a Prince George's County...

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A Minor Setback for Arizona's Residents

(6) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 4:11 PM

Anyone who is a parent knows well that few things are able to change plans like the will of an eleven year old. Simple truths like this one may be the one missing piece on Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce's formula for rewriting the constitution.

Last week, the effort to take away the citizenship rights of Arizona's first generation children born of undocumented parents hit a wall. What the out-of-town conservative ringer, Dr. Eastman, could not accomplish in more than an hour and a half of testimony, Katherine Figueroa finished in four words; "We are the future."

These children of migrants speaking for themselves, family, and friends are at the crux of complicating the recent attempts to revoke birthright citizenship to those born in the US. If we were to revoke citizenship to those born here, what would happen with those stateless children? When asked how they should be treated, the "constitutional expert" replied, "as their parents with the same status would." Completing that sentence ends with newborn babies in detention and deportation. In the context of Arpaio's Arizona, it means the tent city jailer would be issuing pink onesies the way he does underwear to prisoners.

Within that circle of doubt and due to the firm line of questioning of Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Adam Driggs, the judiciary committee of Arizona's Senate decided to hold the 14th Amendment bill rather than put it up for an uncertain vote. The fact that it did not steamroll through is a setback for the legislators. One caused by minors.

When twelve year old Heidi testified, she explained simply, "I may not be perfect but I don't think you should spend your time on discriminating laws." Like the young man from Iowa who scolded legislators for considering a bill that would impact his gay parents, the voices of those directly impacted by today's policies are at the forefront of leading this era of the immigrant rights' movement.

They state what no amount of meandering about allegiance to the king or interpretations of the word jurisdiction can negate; that we are here. We are loved. We have dreams. Like my two US citizen children who excel in school and music and art, who love their father who came here from El Salvador, we are a part of the fabric of this society.

The US population is the same percentage foreign-born as it was when they signed the 14th Amendment. We do not come as tourists or random visitors. We are as much the American family as anyone. We have come, like Katherine said yesterday, "to fight for kids' rights." Sí somos miliones, but sometimes it is the voice of an eleven year old girl that must be counted.

Whoever hears the bills next may wish to keep Katherine's words in mind as they vote. Not only because they ring true, but because they will be echoed by thousands who announced today that on April 23rd, they will be returning to march in the streets of Phoenix.


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Dishonesty Is Not the Best Policy, Neither Is Secure Communities

(3) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 6:45 AM

When the Director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency's "Secure Communities" program, David Venturella said, "Have we created some of the confusion out there? Absolutely we have," at a speaking event last week, he showed that my first blog post here titled, "Democracies Don't Govern...

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Is Obama an Accomplice in Arizona's Human Rights Crisis?

(15) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 3:52 PM

Now that the political posturing of the elections are behind us, it's time for those in office to get to roll up their sleeves and enact policies that will take our country forward. Free of ballot box considerations, the next months will demonstrate to the country where President Obama truly...

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Democracies Don't Govern in Secret

(12) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 5:41 PM

Last week, my organization took federal immigration authorities to court. Represented by our attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Benjamin Cardozo Law School, we asked a federal judge to order the Department of Homeland Security to shed some light on its dangerous new program ironically called its...

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