Alianza Agricola

Donate to the Dairy Workers’ Fight for drivers licenses!

Latest News and Events!

Meetings & Events: 

  • Friday September 15th, 12:30 PM:  Rochester Green Light Allies, First Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Church, Rochester. All welcome to join and help us with drivers license campaign.
  • Monday September 18th, 11amSecure and Just Communities Alliance (committee to work on policies to limit law enforcement collaboration with federal immigration officials) NYCLU office, Downtown Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh St., Rochester.
  • Thursday 9/21 9am:  Join us to go to immigration court in Buffalo, NY to support a woman farmworker in her deportation hearing. There is a strong chance she will be deported, and with some community support perhaps we can help her.  She was a passenger in a car in 2009 that the Yates County sheriffs office called Border Patrol on during a routine traffic stop. She works picking grapes and is the mother of a small child.
  • Sunday September 24th, 1pm, Geneva Alianza Agricola meeting, allies welcome. (rides needed)
  • Saturday September 30th, 7pmAlianza Fundraiser Dance (location TBA). Come dance to traditional Mexican music (live!) and support your favorite cause.  (Rides needed)
  • Friday October 13th, 7pm Geneseo Alianza Agricola meeting, Allies welcome (rides needed).

Action Items: 

  • Stay updated with the statewide Green Light campaign! Click here to request to be signed on to the listserve.
    • If you’re interested in helping organize a very public rapid response if and when enforcement efforts escalate (which they are rumored to in the near future), please email me. I’m going to attempt to put a group together to start planning something.
  • We are still standing in solidarity with Reginal Castel’s family and there’s an urgent call to action first thing in the morning tomorrow, Friday 9/15. Please call Cuomo’s office and insist on a pardon.
  • We got horrible news on Tuesday that Dolores Bustamonte, who many of us have been advocating with to fight her deportation, lost her 25 year old son this past week.  She is devastated. We are collecting donations to help with the expense of the burial. Please consider donating … click here.
  • We are still looking for folks willing to commit to a regular night once a week or once or twice a month, in which they will help members of the Alianza to visit other farms to conduct outreach about our campaign and invite them to be members of our group. Essentially, you would just be a taxi driver in rural NY.  What could be better!  let me know!


  • This is a link to a recent editorial in the NY Daily News connecting the issues surrounding DACA to the need for Drivers Licenses.
  • There is a google drive folder containing tons of resources connected to the Green Light campaign if you haven’t had a chance to read about it or if you’re looking for additional information to share with others. It’s open to the public so just click on this link and you will have access to it.

CALL TO ACTION #2 : Stop Reginald Castel’s Deportation to Haiti

Please  review  below and make an encouraging and respectful call to Governor Cuomo’s office :   518-474-8390

This is a sample script – speak from your own heart  and words, with respect and hopefulness about Governor Cuomo’s part.  Do convey that time is short.

“ My name is ________________, calling from ________________ .  I understand that a highly valued father, husband and role model in the Rochester Community – Reginald Castel – might possibly be assisted by Governor Cuomo via his ability to issue a Pardon.   Mr. Castel came to the United States from Haiti when he was only 8 years old.  He is currently in an ICE detention facility in Louisiana.  Despite strong and active motions pending in the Immigration system and courts, ICE is acting aggressively to remove him to Haiti before due process can take place. Please convey my deepest hopes for Governor Cuomo and his ability to play a part, along with so many others who are working to do everything possible to correct this injustice. “

Timeline of Recent Events 

Last week:  Mr. Castel is transported by bus from Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. Mrs. Castel arrived at 4:30am with supporters who prayed with her and witnessed the bus leaving.  Detention facility workers confirmed that Mr. Castel was on the bus.


Ø  Mr. Castel phones his wife from the Alexandria Staging Facility on the site of the Alexandria, Louisiana Airport, indicating Mr. Castel would be flown to Haiti within 72 hours.

Ø  School Board President Van White, with his pro bono attorney hat on, files petition for pardon with Governor Cuomo based upon Mr. Castel’s positive and productive life as a father, husband, son, and valued role model in our community for the last two decades.


Ø  Mrs. Castel, concerned with no phone call, contacts the Warden of the Louisiana staging facility with her concern that they may have rushed her husband onto a flight to Haiti early, due to impending Hurricane Irma. To her relief, she learned that because of Hurricane Irma, he will not be deported this week.  He is being transferred to a detention facility in Louisiana, a facility more like the one in Batavia where family could visit, etc.

Ø  Van White is advised about the good news that Governor’s staff is reviewing the Petition for Pardon

For Background:

Hatian Community Radio Brooklyn / Van White Interview: Scroll to approximately 20 min for English interview with President White:

Creating Local Rapid Response Network!


Check out “Milked:  Immigrant Dairy Workers in New York State”  Milk Cows, Not Workers for full report.


Of interest to read:

Powerful article about workers who get injured on the job and ultimately are deported.



Lawsuit Over Arizona Farmworkers Shines Light on Visa Program

As demand for temporary workers soars, Labor Department cracks down on living conditions described as ‘horror show’ By Alejandro Lazo, The Wall Street Journal

Posted online August 12.  Appears in the August 14, 2017, print edition as ‘Farm-Labor Lawsuit Highlights Visa Issue.’


Foreign Farmworkers in Canada Fear Deportation if They Complain

By Dan Levin, The New York Times, posted online Aug. 13, print edition Aug. 14