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24/07/2012: Historical 1st Annual Home Away from Home New Immigrant Fair in San Francisco

Historical 1st Annual Home Away from Home New Immigrant Fair in San Francisco

OAKLAND, CA – “The upcoming welcome fair is an historical event,” says Francis Calpotura,Executive Director of TIGRA, a bay area immigrant rights group organizing PAGDATING sa America: Home Away from Home, “this event is both a community celebration and anaffirmation that immigrants hold tremendous economic power that can change the world!”

The Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action (TIGRA) hosts its first welcome fair for new immigrants - PAGDATING sa America: Home Away from Home. The fair will take place Saturday, July 28 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at St. Patrick’s Church Social Hall 756 Mission St.in San Francisco. Admission is FREE. The inaugural event will bring key resources for new immigrants, entertainment and socially-responsible businesses under one roof. “We want to welcome our kababayans, and other immigrant communities, to the States, connect them to resources and services that will assist in their transition and highlight the transnational economic power of immigrants” explains Lisa Juachon, Online Organizer for TIGRA.

“We wanted the fair to be both educational and entertaining, so we have incorporated mini workshops on important topics, such as family petitions, citizenship and the Dreamer “Deferred Action” policy recently pushed forward by President Obama, which will will be presented by Attorney Amancio “Jojo” Liangco. Other workshops will include how to conduct a professional job search in the US by Upwardly Global and health screenings by SFSU Student Nurses Association” adds Juachon.

“We are thrilled that singer/songwriter Cynthia Alexander - sister of nationally acclaimed Pilipino folk singer Joey Ayala - and recently arrived immigrant, will make her debut performance in the Bay Area,” says Leo Esclamado, community leader and TIGRA organizer.“In addition, we will have Philippine folk dance and music performed by American Center forPhilippine Arts and San Jose-based Fil-Am Vet Rondalla.”“Although we got a lot of advice from our relatives or parents that living in the states is sometimes too harsh, still, we pursue our dreams for the sake of those who we left behind” said newly-arrived immigrant Antonio Lopez. “This event is to empower immigrant families in theU.S. and their countries of origin. Lopez’ sentiment is echoed among the more than 40,000 Pilipinos who migrate to the United States each year,” comments Calpotura.

Lisa María Castellanos, TIGRA’s Senior Organizer, stresses the importance of building a strongimmigrant economic power-base through conscious consumer action and collective action.“Upon arrival, new immigrants almost immediately engage with two industries that depend onglobalized migration: the telecom industry, such as international phone cards, to call family backhome and remittance companies to send money to loved ones.” Castellanos adds, “TIGRA recognizes the transnational nature of US-based immigrant families and the deep ties theymaintain to their families in their communities and their home countries...[we want to] build immigrant power through community organizing for economic power and hold migrant dependent industries accountable.”