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Indybay Feature
Wed Mar 5 2014 (Updated 03/07/14)
Sit-in for Immigrant Rights Blocks Major Intersection in E. Palo Alto
Wed Mar 5 2014 (Updated 03/07/14)
Labor Action Promotes Unions and Protests Department of Homeland Security E-Verify Program
On February 26 in East Palo Alto, about 250 people marched through the intersection in front of IKEA. Seven activists risked arrest, locking arms and standing (sometimes sitting) in the middle of a major intersection. Union and immigrant rights activists called out Juvenal Chavez, owner of nearby Mi Pueblo, for betraying his own undocumented immigrant roots by participating in the Department of Homeland Security program E-Verify that screens the immigration status of new hires.

Latinos Unidos Por Una Nueva America (Latinos United for a New America) joined other immigrant rights groups and unions including SEIU and UFCW to bring about the action. Labor organizers have been trying to unionize Latino and Asian ethnic markets across the state and the Mi Pueblo grocery chain has been at the center of their attention due to particularly poor working conditions.

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