In New York City, day laborers and their allies gathered Sunday to call for immigration reform and to highlight the role of immigrant workers in the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy, just over one year ago. The workers rallied in Foley Square to call for relief from deportation for workers who helped rebuild the city. The protest came on the heels of a New York Daily News report showing 74 percent of construction workers who die on the job are Latinos, even though census figures show Latinos account for just 41 percent of such workers. Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said safety for relief workers is a key demand.
Pablo Alvarado: “After a natural disaster, workers need to be protected. FEMA comes in, and they bring relief to homeowners, to a lot of people who are affected. But workers’ rights, people who go in, the first responders, people who go in and take out the contaminated waters, they don’t even receive a glove or a helmet. That needs to change.”