April 1, 2019

United Latinos Helps More Workers Achieve the American Dream

Across the country, many members who work hard every day to contribute to our communities and build a better life for themselves and their families still face obstacles to achieving the American Dream. To ensure these members and their families have the opportunities they need to succeed, United Latinos of the UFCW hosted a Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN) Clinic in New York City on March 23 which focused on legal services, the process to become a citizen, and other immigration and citizenship issues.

With strong attendance from members and families throughout the community, the clinic was also sponsored by RWDSU, UFCW Locals 888 and 1500, Dominicanos USA and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement’s New York City Chapter. The event helped answer questions about the application process for permanent U.S. residents to become U.S. citizens. To help members with the application fees, United Latinos created the New American Citizenship Fund, which awards $600.00 scholarships to members who have applied for U.S. citizenship. To date, United Latinos has helped hundreds of UFCW members continue and complete the application process.

The UCAN Clinic marked the last event of a week-long United Latinos board meeting hosted at the RWDSU, which featured panels on organizing, immigration, and the state of Latinos in the workforce. UFCW International President Marc Perrone and International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López spoke at the event. United Latinos President Rigo Valdez, who is the Vice President and Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 770, challenged attendees at the board meeting to “take action and engage our membership, whether it be by helping our members become citizens, registering [members] to vote, or by providing organizing training in Spanish. We need to activate our community.”

The UCAN program, which was launched in 2014, assists members who are lawful permanent residents and meet the legal requirements with their application process to become U.S. citizens. Since its inception, the UCAN Program has helped thousands of our members and their families with their citizenship application process. For more information or to get involved with the UCAN program, contact International Vice President and Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department Robin Williams at rwilliams@ufcw.org.

You can learn more about United Latinos of the UFCW and the important work they do here.