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Participants in the “Know Your Rights” seminar with Consul Kerwin Tate (2nd row, standing 1st from left), Linda Oalican of Damayan (2nd row, 7th from left) and Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega (2nd row, 8th from left).  (Photos by NYPCG)


The Philippine Consulate General in New York, in partnership with the DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association, held a “Know Your Rights” seminar on Immigration Matters at the Philippine Center lobby on Nov. 4, 2017.

The seminar is part of Consulate’s efforts to reach out to the Filipino community and engage all sectors, particularly those who are anxious or apprehensive about the U.S. Government’s policies regarding new immigration rules and regulations.

The seminar is also part of the initiatives under the recently concluded Memorandum of Understanding between the Consulate General and the DAMAYAN Migrant Worker’s Association, which is actively pursuing an anti-Labor and Human Trafficking advocacy in the U.S. Northeast.

The seminar was well attended with participants listening to the presentations from Melanie Zuch, a lawyer-advocate of the Urban Justice Center; and Christine Zhou of the New York Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

The two speakers discussed the rights of immigrants, new arrivals, and residents living in the United States, insofar as rules on immigration arrests and detentions are concerned, as well as the benefits and services available for immigrants, in the city and state of New York.


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Consul Kerwin Tate of the Consulate’s Assistance-to-Nationals Section opens the program with Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Melanie Zuch and Linda Oalican of DAMAYAN.


DAMAYAN likewise presented various scenarios providing helpful guidelines for migrants facing immigration related situations.

Updates on pending human and labor trafficking cases involving Filipino complainants were likewise provided.

Many of the attendees also took the opportunity to consult with the many lawyer-volunteers who had turned up for that afternoon.

A contingent from the Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund (FALDEF) had come, along with other private practitioners.

The Consulate’s next Know Your Rights Session is on the Rights and Protection of the Elderly/Aging Community on Nov. 18, 2017 — again with resource speakers from the legal community, New York Police Department and New York Mayor’s Office.


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Lawyer Melanie Zuch of the Urban Justice Center.


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Christine Zhou of the New York Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.