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Hadar Susskind remembers spotting Senator Frank Lautenberg over the years in the Senate's marble hallways. "He was one of those who was good not just at the personal side of politics but the personal side of policy, really caring and thinking about what it actually means."
Bend the Arc and other social action groups joined at Quincy Market Wednesday to support immigration reform. Supporters dressed in Statue of Liberty costumes and invited passersby to place a pin on a map of their country of origin. The groups also promoted www.entrydenied.org, a site in support of the cause.
I recently learned during my social justice fellowship at Bend the Arc that due to a loophole in labor laws, Dora and other domestic workers aren't entitled to the same basic labor protections such as meal and rest breaks, overtime pay, and paid days of rest that every other worker is entitled to. When I learned that there were live-in housekeepers, nannies and caregivers who were working 24 hours straight without breaks, sleeping in dismal conditions and for just a few hours at a time, and were unable to even take breaks, and that this was all legal, I was dumbfounded and deeply saddened.
The story of immigrants creating jobs by starting new businesses is as old as immigration itself. While immigrants have made up, on average, just over 10 percent of the population for the past 160 years, more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, according to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy.
A contingent of Jews will travel this week to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to mark the fifth anniversary of a notorious immigration raid on the nation’s largest kosher meat producer. The Agriprocessors raid demanded that we answer the question: Does kosher food reflect Jewish values? Five years later, that question still resonates. It is time for kosher businesses from restaurants to factories to embrace the full range of rights of their employees — including the right to organize and bargain collectively. It is also time to fix our broken immigration system and protect the millions of immigrant workers who live in fear while contributing millions to our economy and trying to keep their families from being torn apart.