Donate today to support WJCNY’s work

We need your support in protecting and improving the rights of low-wage workers and farmworkers across New York State. 

The demand for our legal, educational and social services has grown exponentially under the Trump administration making our work particularly challenging in the past year.  Still, our dedicated staff, volunteers and allies remain poised to advocate vigorously on behalf of workers who are the backbone of our state’s economy.

It’s more important than ever to stand up for these individuals and show them that you will help us put an end to discrimination, wage theft, human trafficking, sexual violence and other workplace and labor abuses.

Human trafficking is tearing families apart…right here in New York State.

After two years of working to return a young boy to his mother who was trafficked into the U.S., WJCNY successfully reunited this family.  To control the mother, the child was held by her trafficker’s family as the primary means of control over her. Working with an NGO in the mother’s home country, we were able to locate our client’s son, terminate the trafficker’s parental rights and custody of the child, and finally bring the six year old to the U.S. to be reunited with his mother. Both mother and son are now thriving and have the opportunity to rebuild their lives, together.

What would you do if your loved one was a victim of wage theft and exploitation?

Three musicians from Peru thought they had landed an opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to come to the U.S. to join a touring band. However, they came to realize they had been scammed into a labor trafficking scheme. Their band manager, the trafficker responsible for securing their visas and travel to the U.S., demanded that the musicians give her access to their bank accounts to deposit their earnings to their accounts and manage payments. The trafficker was in complete financial control over her victims. Ultimately, the musicians escaped and WJCNY successfully assisted two survivors in returning home to Peru. We continue to work with the remaining survivor to obtain lawful immigration status here in the U.S.

WJCNY reached over 4,000 farmworkers and low-wage workers through our outreach and education programs in 2017.

Outreach to farmworkers and low-wage workers is essential to effectively ensuring that our services reach the people who need them.  As a result of a training on workers’ rights under the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA), one worker was compelled to submit a complaint about unsafe working conditions on the farm he worked on, including exposure to bare, live electrical wires, resulting in fines and citations that led the employer to bring the workplace up to the proper health and safety standards.

We drastically expanded our immigration-related services due to increased demand.

WJCNY staff provided “Know Your Rights” workshops, family preparedness clinics, training and capacity-building for immigration enforcement rapid-response teams, and engaged in advocacy for sanctuary policies in cities and towns across New York.  Our Community ID initiative, which provides photo identification to individuals who are otherwise unable to obtain an ID, grew exponentially, allowing individuals to access essential services for which photo ID is required. We even hired our first-ever full-time immigration attorney in September; we have already provided free immigration consultations to over 50 individuals and are quickly building our docket with the immense demand for these services.

Your support is crucial to our success.  No gift is too small…or too big.

Immigrants and farmworkers continue to be a target of new policies and politics.  Increased hatred-fueled violence is leading many low-wage workers to stay silent in the most abusive situations.  With decreasing federal funding and increasing competition for funding on the state and local level, WJCNY must rely on the support of individual donors like you to continue delivering the services New York’s low-wage workers have come to rely on us for. When you sit with your families during this holiday season over a plentiful table, consider the dedication and sacrifices of the workers across low-wage industries that grow, process and package your food.

Please consider making a generous gift to the Worker Justice Center of New York and support our state’s low-wage labor force in the year to come.


Lewis O. Papenfuse

Executive Director


PS – On behalf of the farmworkers we have the privilege of serving, we wish

you and yours a happy and healthy holiday.