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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

Presente.org Issues Petition Demanding the Obama Administration to Halt the Deportation of Antonio Vanegas, Federal Contract Worker Fired for Demanding a Living Wage

Presente.org petition also demands an end to retaliation for Vanegas' Participation in Walkout by Low Wage Federal Contract Workers by Reinstating him

May 30, 2013

Presente.org has issued a petition demanding that the Obama Administration halt the deportation of Antonio Vanegas, a federal contract worker fired and placed into deportation proceedings for participating in a strike last Tuesday. Last week, Vanegas and 200 federally-contracted low-wage workers in Washington walked off their jobs and called on President Obama to take action to improve their wages.

Following the walkout, Vanegas and nine of his coworkers were fired but were reinstated after the community demanded action. Over the weekend, he was arrested by Federal Protective Services police as he entered the building where he had worked for three years, and after three days in ICE detention was released with instructions to report for further deportation proceedings. Vanegas is now effectively excluded from his place of work.

Presente.org has issued the petition because, in addition to being extremely unfair retaliation against a worker demanding his rights, Vanegas’ arrest and exclusion violates Department of Homeland’s Security’ rules prohibiting it from interfering in labor disputes.