Mexican Rights Advocates in New York to Meet with Fox
Efe - August 23, 2000
New York, Aug 23, 2000 (EFE) - Some 20 organizations representing Mexicans living in New York will give President-elect Vicente Fox a list of common grievances during his short visit to the city Wednesday.
Some key demands include developing a common project that would unify New York's 500,000 Mexicans, promoting educational programs for immigrants in rural areas, and improving cooperation with the U.S. government concerning immigration regulations.
Some 30 community leaders met last Monday to draft a document summarizing the fate of Mexicans in New York City area.
"The president-elect expressed his desire to learn about the community's problems. Today's meeting will be the first contact and Fox's principal activity during his short stay in the city on his way to Washington," meeting coordinator and general director of the commercial office of the state of Guanajuato in New York Blanca Villarello told EFE.
The organizations named Esperanza Chacon, from the Tepeyac Association of New York and Gerardo Dominguez, from the Mexican-American committee, as their spokespersons at the meeting that will take place behind closed doors at approximately 5:00 p.m. (0000 GMT) in an area of the Bronx heavily populated by Mexicans.
The organizations say that one of their principal tasks is to promote education among immigrants, but they will also ask the Mexican government to promote education and health programs in the poor areas of Mexico from which many people are forced to emigrate.
These people frequently come from the states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Morales, Tlaxcala and, recently, from the mountains of Veracruz.
They say it is urgent that Fox promote immigration legislation that minimizes risks, deaths on the border and the actions of individuals known as "coyotes," who receive more than 2,500 dollars for each person they help on the dangerous trip to the United States.
Organization leaders will also tell Fox that approximately four million illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States are exploited at work and seek a general unconditional amnesty to organize and defend their labor rights.
The Mexican associations will also propose a bilateral project to recognize the situation of women in both Mexico and the United States.
Women abandoned by men who immigrated, children abused sexually by those who brought them into the United States, women who work in sweatshops and also suffer domestic violence are among those who need government attention, Chacon told EFE.
They have also asked Mexican consulates to improve their relations and services to equal those of the United States and to take a firm stance in the defense of human rights.
"After this meeting, I hope that President Fox meets with all the New York associations again in November in an open public forum and listens to the experiences and the problems of Mexicans living in New York," Chacon added.