San Jose, California – The Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants-Silicon Valley (PAWIS-SV), in conjunction with the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center (KGACLC), the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), and Somos Mayfair , hosted a legal clinic on Saturday, March 28 at Somos Mayfair located at 370 South King Rd, San Jose, CA 95116. Areas of law covered included family law, housing, public benefits, domestic violence, consumer, bankruptcy, workers’ rights, immigration, and landlord-tenant law. Around 15 people signed in to avail of free legal services.
Many Filipinos, especially immigrants and low-income workers, need legal advice, yet do not seek it out because they do not know their rights, do not have the financial resources, and/or are afraid of angering abusive employers. PAWIS hosted its second clinic to encourage such people to address their potential legal issues without fear.
“So many of our kababayans don’t get paid for overtime or all of the hours that they work, but they hesitate to fight for their unpaid wages because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Their employers illegally threaten them that they will deport the workers, even though they actually have rights as workers no matter what their immigration status is,” said Michael Dalupo, President of PAWIS. “At the same time, people have questions about immigration, domestic violence, trafficking, housing, and other important issues that weigh down on them. But they might not know where to go for legal help or have the money to pay for a lawyer.”
Jude Carpio, a member of PAWIS, said: “I am glad that we hosted this event. This will be a way for us not only to provide concrete services to our distressed kababayans, but also to educate our community about their rights and how they can take action on issues that affect them. We encourage everyone to join PAWIS and get involved in our wage theft, immigration, and environmental justice campaigns and activities!”
This is the second of ongoing free legal clinics. For more information on legal clinics in the future and/or how to get involved with PAWIS, please call (408) 412-1933.
The Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants – Silicon Valley (PAWIS-SV) is a grassroots Filipino organization fighting for workers’ and immigrant right. It is a member of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition, which seeks to ensure that workers are treated with dignity and paid fairly for all of the hours that they work. For more information, please visit pawissv.wordpress.com.