Stand for the Rights and Welfare of Undocumented Immigrants. Unite the Families in the Diaspora.

Statements 11112015.003

Press Statement

November 12, 2015


Melissa Harris, Anakbayan New Jersey


Stand for the Rights and Welfare of Undocumented Immigrants. Unite the Families in the Diaspora: Anakbayan NJ joins Saint Peter’s University vigil for un-documented immigrants

Filipino youth group, Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ), joins the vigil held at Saint Peter’s University by the Social Justice Club in vigil to demand “immigration reform and justice for undocumented/migrant people”. Members of ABNJ says many Filipino immigrants similar face harsh conditions here and abroad.

“We join the Saint Peter’s University community in solidarity of all migrants and refugees all over the world who are suffering under inhumane and repressive immigration policies. We demand justice and we stand for a world where families are not torn apart by the need to survive,” said Joelle Lingat, chairperson of Anakbayan New Jersey.

The vigil was called for in relation to the refugee crisis sweeping Europe and the ongoing struggles of undocumented immigrants here in the United States. According to the Organization of International Migration, around 700,000 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea. Most refugees are applying for asylum. Meanwhile, there are around 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and nearly two million have already been deported under President Obama’s tenure. Most of these immigrants are escaping poverty and wars in their home countries.

Similarly, the Philippines has seen 10 percent of its population migrate. Currently, close to 12 million Filipinos either live or work abroad. According to a New York Times article published last Nov.9, “No country exports more seafarers than the Philippines, which provides roughly a quarter of them globally. More than 400,000 Filipinos sought work last year as officers, deckhands, fishermen, cargo handlers and cruise workers.”

“This speaks to the state of employment in the Philippines. Filipinos are forced away from their families, away from their homeland in order to put a roof over their heads and to put food in their mouths. The fact that so many are left to choose a dangerous and uncertain path underscores the desperation for people to thrive economically, even at the most basic level,” says Melissa Harris, ABNJ member.

According to the young activists, these migration patterns are not coincidental, but rather a direct result of “Imperialism”. “There is no one else to blame for the horrible conditions faced by migrants and refugees around the world other than U.S. Imperialism. It is its wars of aggression waged in the middle east that destabilized the region and forced people to flee for their lives. It is its continued economic domination, in the form of various unequal trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the current Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement that continues to impoverish the Third World and creates conditions for forced migration,” says Lingat.

Anakbayan New Jersey says this is more reason for youth and students to advocate for immigrants’ rights. “As seen in the struggle of undocumented students, only through organized struggle can immigrants uphold their rights. We call on immigrant youth and students to educate, organize and mobilize the larger immigrant community to fight for their immediate rights and link this to the global struggle against US imperialism. Only then can we end the system of forced migration,” Lingat concluded.

Raise the Minimum Wage to $15! Fight for the Living Wage!

Statements 11112015.001

For Immediate Release
Press Statement


Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary-General, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265,

Raise the Minimum Wage to $15! Fight for the Living Wage!

Anakbayan New Jersey sends its deepest support for 15 Now NJ’s nationally coordinated Day of Action calling for the $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. On November 10, 2015 low-wage workers, unions, community groups, and allies gathered in Jersey City’s City Hall for a rally and the third resolution calling on the State Legislature to raise the minimum wage. After deliberation the resolution Jersey City Council successfully voted unanimously 8-0 in favor of the resolution to raise the Minimum Wage in NJ.

“A fight for 15 dollars minimum wage is not much to ask, when we have people living to recover from the economic depressions that keep hitting our economy even harder and harder,” said Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary-General of Anakbayan NJ, “While we seek a higher minimum wage, we must also push for the necessity of a living wage for the population. Filipinos are working multiple jobs in order to feed their family and save enough to remit back to the philippines. Increasing the minimum wage is a step in our local government prioritizing the needs of everyday people.”

The Fight for 15 has been waging for three years across the country since its launch in 2012. Multiple cities are proposing laws, and Seattle was even victorious. New York City’s Fast Food Wage Board also recommended a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers. As one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. with one of the largest immigration populations in the state, the conditions are ripe for Jersey City workers to demand a $15 minimum wage.


In New Jersey, the cost of living is higher than the wages earned. According to the Working Families, the average adult needs to make $19.67 per hour to sustain themselves, without consideration of their families. Further, an adult earning minimum wage must work 100 hours for a one bedroom apartment according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. With the shift to one-parent households and increased gentrification, a $15 minimum wage is necessary now more than ever.

As youth and students, we would all directly benefit from a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. With the increasing education crisis, tuition fees are becoming more expensive and students are getting further in debt. By taking up these struggle for the rights and welfare of low-wage workers, the youth advocate for their families and empower themselves.

We are worth more!
$15 now, living wage next!


Anakbayan New Jersey, FIWOP: Filipino Immigrant Workers Alliance and 15 Now NJ posing with Council President Rolando Lavarro after City Council votes 8-0 on the resolution for $15 min wage in NJ.


Jersey City Fil-Am Cultural Festival

“Know History. Know Self.
No History. No Self.”

Join Anakbayan NJ on Saturday, October 17th, 2015 for a jam-packed day of films, performances, presentations, and exhibitions by Filipino youth, students, and our allies, featuring a centerpiece screening of The Guerilla is a Poet.

You’ll also hear stories from the International People’s Tribunal in Washington, DC, and Kapit Bisig Kabataan Relief Mission in the Philippines this past summer.

Saturday, October 17th
12-6pm: Filipino Film Festival
7-9pm: Upsurge Cultural Show and Open Mic
$5-$20 sliding scale
(no one turned away for lack of funds)

***Full program and location TBA***

Calling all Filipino Youth and Allies:

Anakbayan NJ aims to highlight the often forgotten, but historic, role of Filipinos in the US. Let us celebrate our contributions as migrant workers, artists, activists, and young people who are bearers of change for a more sustainable and just society!

We call on Filipino youth and allies to lend their talents and voices to the cause of uplifting our revolutionary history and tradition.

To contribute a film for consideration, please email Devyn at

To share a song, dance, or spoken word performance at Upsurge, please email Bea at

Please consider donating to Anakbayan NJ to support our organizational operations and campaigns! More infomation can be found here.

Jersey City Pinoys slam plans to ‘open’ Balikbayan boxes, joins “Zero Remittance Day”

balikbayan boxes.001

PRESS STATEMENT August 28, 2015

Yves Nibungco, Organizer, Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP)
Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey,

Jersey City Pinoys slam plans to ‘open’ Balikbayan boxes, joins ‘Zero Remittance Day’

Jersey City, NJ – Jersey City-based organizations Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) and youth group Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ) joins the call of Overseas Filipinos for a global day of action dubbed as “Zero Remittance Day” last August 28 to protest the Philippine government’s recent policies of taxing, random inspection and seizure of ‘balikbayan’ boxes. This protest, according to economists, will cost the country around Php3 Billion worth of remittances.

Members of both organizations went from store to store around Newark Avenue, a hub of Filipino owned businesses, to distribute information and urge Filipinos to join the Zero Remittance Day. Local cargo shippers expressed support but expressing that they have already been forced to increase the costs of their services $7, $11, and even $14. This is due to the additional Php100,000 fee on the 40-footer cargos entering the Philippine ports and is part of the government’s plan to raise Php600 million worth of revenues.


FIWOP: Filipino Immigrant Workers Organizing Project

Bureau of Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina recently proposed stricter policies on handling Balikbayan boxes. “Canned goods, grocery items and other household effects must not exceed a dozen a kind, while apparel whether used or new must not exceed three yards per cut,” Lina said. “Home appliances are not allowed unless these are consigned to returning Filipino residents and overseas contract workers. We will seize these prohibited shipments and revoke registrations of forwarders or consolidators if we find any violations,” Lina added


Anakbayan NJ in front of PNB

According to Anakbayan NJ member, Ana Robelo, this scheme is not more than to extract more money out of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). “The taxation of the balikbayan boxes is only a symptom of the larger function and reach of government being run like a business or what we call as Bureaucrat Capitalism. The Philippine government’s Labor Export Policy is set up to bring revenue in through its overseas workers through remittances. At its root, workers should not be displaced just to provide for their families and the government should not be further feeding itself from that labor.” said Ana Robelo, ABNJ member

This recent policy has earned the ire of OFWs worldwide, including Filipinos in Jersey City. “Lagi akong nagpapadala ng balikbayan boxes, mga tatlong beses sa isang taon. Nagpapadala ako bago mag pasukan sa eskwela, bago mag pasko at pag may espesyal na okasyon. Bakit kami ang pinagiinitan ng BOC at hindi yung mga rice smugglers at mga basura galing Canada?” [I always send balikbayan boxes, three times in a year. I send before school starts, before Christmas and when there are special occasions. Why is the BOC picking on us and not the rice smugglers?] said a member of FIWOP.

This reflects the widespread anger and frustration of many overseas Filipino workers and migrants regarding the new policies. Although taxes and fees have consistently been on the rise, services have are sub-par if at all in existence.


Jersey City Resident on Newark Ave.

“Coming back from the Philippines I have seen first hand the conditions of our people back home. The economic policies already bring about a brain drain within our country as well as push our people abroad making our country reliant on remittances and balikbayan boxes from these family members. Taxation put upon them would only further the injustices our people face. Moreover, seeing that the conditions of our people have further worsened and the corruption of government-collected money only brings up ideas that the money from this taxation will be used in the same way,” said Daniel Santiago, ABNJ Solidarity Officer.

Due to pressure, the Philippine government withdrew its plans on conducting random checks of boxes but has yet to drop its increased fees and taxing. FIWOP and Anakbayan NJ calls on Filipino migrants and other organizations to unite and continue taking action and exert pressure on the BOC and the Philippine government.


The Straight Path to Corruption and Criminality: OUST AQUINO at his Last State of the Nation Address

For Immediate Release

Press Statement

July 28, 2015


Laura Emily Endaya Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey

Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265,


The Straight Path to Corruption and Criminality: OUST AQUINO at his Last State of the Nation Address

SONA in Jersey City "5 Corners"

Anakbayan NJ, alongside member organizations of BAYAN-USA North East refuted the US-Aquino regime’s final State of the Nation Address through a two-day protest in Jersey City, NJ and Manhattan, NYC. Delegates also delivered the guilty verdict of the International Peoples’ Tribunal to the Philippine consulate to highlight the lies President B.S. Aquino delivered hours beforehand. B.S. Aquino’s has continued the legacy of egregious criminal acts against the Filipino people of the administrations predecessing him and enough is enough!

On July 27, 2015, President B.S. Aquino again tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Filipino people. However, after five years of empty promises and lies, the people have poured into the streets in the thousands, across the world to declare that enough is enough. His so-called straight and narrow path of reforms has only led to literal death and destitution for our people. SONA 2015 is a mere veil to ever-worsening crisis of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial society of our homeland.

Throughout his address, B.S. Aquino continued to distance himself from the undeniable corruption of his administration. When he first mentioned “Government Owned and Controlled Corporations,” (GOCC) B.S. Aquino claimed no responsibility for the monetary abuse facilitated by the appointees to these GOCCs. Yet, in a May 13th article, President Aquino “order[ed] a review of their bonuses to ‘maximize’ their lawful benefits.” People question how he can spout such contradictory statements when he siphones these funds for his cronies, but this was clearly foreseen from his haciendro bureaucrat capitalist background even from the start of his reign.

B.S. Aquino dared to continue with the National Budget, alleging that projects that were already completed were still receiving funding because of the approval of the General Appropriations Act in 2007. He feigned concern that these funds would be funneled into wrongful channels, yet the money was already sent into the pockets of his cronies. With the upcoming election, we must collectively reject corruption in government agencies for election fundraising and this barkadahan system of governance. There is no accountability of high ranking officials of the government, and as a people, we must make an example of B.S. Aquino by exposing and opposing his criminality and corruption.

Following, B.S. Aquino feigned shock at improvement of the Philippine economy because he “only thought of fixing the crooked system to prevent our people from sinking deeper into poverty.” But what crooked system did he fix if the problems not only remain, but have exacerbated with his regime?  If B.S. Aquino truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, he would not be shooting our farmers down. If he truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, he would be giving back all the land to the rightful owners. If he truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, he would not be promoting and fostering a situation where the Filipino people are reduced to cheap labor that can be exported abroad for the whims of other countries to take advantage of. If he truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, maybe there wouldn’t be anymore forced disappearances of our loved ones who are trying to fight for those who are being suppressed by the B.S. Aquino administration.

As Filipino youth and students in the U.S., we are continually baffled by the expected regime’s empty rhetoric. From the Public Private Partnership and Conditional Transfer to lack of social services and widespread contractualization and low wages, we cannot allow B.S. Aquino to fail our kababayans another moment more. We condemn foreign intervention, whether from the U.S., Japan, or China and condemn the continued cycle of bureaucrat capitalist presidences. It is time we take action to our sentiments because five years has been too long. Aquino must be ousted and we must institute a government for the people!

Enough is enough! End the puppet, oppressive, repressive and corrupt government now!

Five years without reforms: Oust the US-Aquino regime!

Onward with the people’s national democratic struggle for genuine reforms!


Info Session on the International Assembly of Migrants & Refugees 4







Come join us for an info session regarding the International Assembly of Migrants & Refugees 4 and learn how you can get involved.

What: Info Session on IAMR4
When: Sept. 14, Saturday | 5pm – 8pm
Where: Pope Lecture hall, Saint Peter’s University | 2641 Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City, NJ 07306

The IAMR4 brings to the forefront the voices of migrants and refugees internationally for a 3 day convergence. The conference will counter the United Nation’s High Level Dialogue on migration and development that has historically excluded the true conditions and voices of migrants and refugees. 

We Are Human Beings! We are Not for Sale!
We Refuse to Let Corporate Agendas Plan our Lives!
We Speak for Ourselves!


Cris Hilo, IAMR4 Coordinator
– For the past six years, Cris Hilo has been educating, organizing, and mobilizing in the Filipino community around immigrant rights and issues of violence against women and children with Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE-NYC) GABRIELA USA. 

Cecil Delgado 
– 33yrs old, from Makati City and a mother of a young 9yr old boy who is currently in the Philippines. She is one of the fifteen Filipino trafficking survivors from Florida now known as the “Florida 15”. She used to work as a shift leader in one of the fine dining spanish restaurant in Manila and had worked as a waitress for four years on board a passenger cruise line bound for Europe. She came here in the US in 2008 and have worked as the Executive Assistant of Jose Villanueva, CEO of Sanvilla.

Coordinadora Binacional de Ex Braceros (COBIEB)
– has been organizing since 1998 for the pensions of the Ex Braceros. COBIEB is a groups of Ex-Braceros and their family members still fighting for justice. To this day, there has been no remittance of their pensions from the U.S. and Mexican governments. Braceros were more than 4.6 million Mexican workers who labored in the fields and construction sites of the United States from1942 – 1964 in order to support the US during and after World War II. “Bracero” comes from the word “brazo” which means “arm” since most of the work was primarily manual labor as farmworkers.


For more information please contact, email us at or callYves Nibungco, 2017376661 or Catalina Adorno, 2013818254

New Jersey Students and Community to Launch “Week of Action: NJ DREAM Act Now!”

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

May 22, 2013

Reference: Bea Sabino, Chairperson, Anakbayan NJ

     , (201) 779 6886


New Jersey Students and Community to Launch

“Week of Action: NJ DREAM Act Now!”

WHO: NJ Dream Act Coalition, NJ United Students, Anakbayan NJ, Mexican-American Progress Movement, Passaic DREAM Team, Essex County DREAM Team, Wind of the Spirit, PICO New Jersey, Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, and community at large

WHAT: From May 26-31, 2013, student and community groups are holding a series of actions to demand Governor Christie and the NJ State Legislature to pass A3509/S2479, which would allow DREAM Act- eligible youth to qualify for in-state tuition and access state financial aid at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities, by the June 30, 2013 state budget deadline.

Community groups are urging concerned citizens to take a stand for a person’s right to affordable and quality education, regardless of immigration status. Everyone is invited to participate in the New Jersey DREAM Act Week of Action. Activities range from social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter to public forums, vigils and rallies across New Jersey.


May 25, 2013

Wind of the Spirit and SEIU 32BJ BBQ + “Papers” Film Screening

6pm @ First Memorial Presbyterian Church, 51 W. Blackwell St, Dover, NJ


May 26, 2013

Mexican American Progress Movement Immigration Reform Workshop + “Dream is Now” Film Screening

3pm @ Mexican American Community Center, 169 Lexington Avenue, Passaic, NJ 07055


May 29, 2013

“Day of Action”


Essex County Dream Team Coming Out of the Shadows

12-2pm @ Essex County College, Newark, NJ


Jersey City

Rally + Press Conference for NJ Dream Act

5pm @ City Hall, 280 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ


Union City

Choforitos United Rally for NJ DREAM Act

5pm @ Union City Plaza of the Arts (Bergenline Avenue, btw 30th and 31st streets), Union City, NJ


If you’d like to register an event as part of the NJ Dream Act Week of Action, contact Bea Sabino at (201) 779 6886 or email For an updated list of events, please visit

WHY: The NJTED Campaign launched with a rally at the State House in Trenton on January 8, just before Governor Christie’s State of the State Address. For the past 5 months, the NJ Dream Act campaign has been steadily gaining legislative and community support. Dozens of student groups, community organizations, labor unions and faith-based groups have signed on as endorsers of the campaign. The cities of Jersey City, Passaic, Elizabeth, Plainfield and New Brunswick all passed city resolutions urging the New Jersey State Legislature to enact the passage of A3509/S2479. Additionally, Essex County Freeholders and Union County Freeholders have both signed similar resolutions.

The undocumented immigrant population in New Jersey makes up 6.2% of the total state population, making it the fourth-highest rate in the nation. In New Jersey, undocumented immigrants make up 8.6% of the state’s workforce and paid $446.1 million in state and local taxes in 2010. Despite their contribution to the local economy, undocumented immigrants are required to pay out-of-state tuition rates to attend college, and are ineligible for financial aid and scholarships.

The New Jersey Dream Act Week of Action aims to supplement ongoing legislative visits with a demonstration of the people power behind the call for the implementation of A3509/S2479 in time for the Fall 2013 semester. It is time for New Jersey to join the 14 other states that have enacted similar legislation for aspiring undocumented youth.

For more information about the NJ Dream Act Campaign and how to get involved in the Week of Action, please visit: ###



For Immediate Release

April 26, 2013

Reference: Bea Sabino, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey



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Jersey City, NJ- Amidst national discussion on comprehensive immigration reform, immigrant rights groups and dozens of supporters welcomed Jersey City City Council’s unanimous approval for the adoption of City Ordinance 13-047, establishment of an Immigrant Affairs Commission, at City Hall on April 24.

The evening began with representatives from progressive faith-based, advocacy, and student organizations and Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro, Jr. speaking out in support of the said ordinance and fair immigration reform at a rally in front of City Hall. A march around Grove St. followed, with supporters chanting, “Justice for workers and migrants” and “Time is now” before entering the City Hall Chambers for the council meeting.

About 20 people, mostly Jersey City residents, provided testimonies and recommendations for the establishment of an Immigrant Affairs Commission at the public hearing.  “An immigrant affairs commission is an important affirmation that the city council must take a proactive role in addressing the concerns of the Jersey City immigrant population,” said Vera Parra of the American Friends Service Committee.

Community advocates cite disparities in education and healthcare access, workplace abuse, neighborhood violence that have gone unreported among the immigrant community for years due to the lack of a safe platform to do so. “These [disparities] are issues with local solutions. To that end, we look forward to working with the Commission, once approved and appointed by the Mayor,” continued Parra.

While the “Gang of 8” proposal exhibits renewed resolve in border control and economic opportunism on the side of corporate America, immigrant communities are banding together to push for immigration reform that addresses the immediate concerns of immigrants.

Close to 40% of the population in Jersey City is foreign-born, and it is doing its part in holding local officials accountable in upholding immigrant rights.

Jersey City and other communities in New Jersey are taking a stand in the fight for fair and just immigration reform. We have been working hard to organize and rally the community, specifically in support of this commission and for tuition equity for undocumented students, making sure that the immigrant community’s voices are heard,” said Ren Carandang, Educational Officer of Anakbayan NJ, a progressive Filipino youth organization.

Anakbayan and its allied organizations are calling on the Jersey City community to join the vibrant peoples’ movement for immigrant rights and genuine immigration reform. For more information on how to get involved, send your name, contact information and a brief message to


Thank you to all participating organizations: Anakbayan New Jersey, American Friends Service Committee, St. Peter’s University Social Justice Program, Gothic Knight Grassroots of New Jersey City University, St. Patrick and Assumption-All Saints Parish, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU, Peoples’ Organization for Progress, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, and the community at large.

TIME IS NOW Jersey City! Rally for Immigrants’ Rights


If we want immigration reform, we need to fight for it!

We are calling on everyone to join us for a rally at the steps of Jersey City City Hall to speak out and to tell everyone that the TIME IS NOW for comprehensive immigration reform!

We will be having speakers from various community organizations to speak on issues affecting the immigrant community and why we need immigration reform now.

What: Rally for Immigrant Rights and public hearing for Ordinance No. 13-047 “Establishing Immigrant Affairs Commission in Jersey City” (Click here to rsvp)

* we ask that folks bring wall clocks and placards that says how long you’ve been waiting for immigration reform or to see a family member

Where: Jersey City, City Hall | 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ
When: April 24, Wednesday | 5:30pm – 9:00pm

*Afterwards, there will be a public hearing to discuss City Ordinance no. 13-047. This ordinance establishes an immigrant affairs commission in Jersey City. This immigrant affairs commission will help our mostly immigrant community in gathering resources/services, conduct studies and provide recommendations to the city council and mayor about our community’s needs.

– Anakbayan New Jersey
– Social Justice Club of Saint Peter’s University 
– Gothic Knights Grassroots
– American Friends Services Committee

* If your organization wants to endorse this action, please send us an email at

For more information, please contact Anakbayan New Jersey at or Bea Sabino, Chairperson, (201)7796886