Illegal Alien Activist Claims Employment by Restaurant Organizing Group

Illegal Alien Activist Claims Employment by Restaurant Organizing Group

One of the pro-amnesty “Dream 9” activists recently released from custody in Arizona appears to have worked illegally for a institutional left activist group that has used bullying activism tactics against restaurants for over a decade. An illegal alien named Lizbeth Mateo claims to have been employed by Restaurant Opportunities Center of Washington, D.C. in 2011.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times:

Lizbeth Mateo won’t be late for her first day of law school after all — despite weeks in a federal detention center after protesting U.S. immigration policy. She and other members of the “Dream 9” were freed Wednesday while they pursue U.S. asylum.

Born in Mexico, Mateo, 29, has spent most of her life in Los Angeles. On Monday, she is to begin studies at Santa Clara University School of Law. Now she’s even more determined to succeed.

“I am absolutely ready to go to law school,” Mateo said.

Perhaps Ms. Mateo will get a chance to study Federal employment law, which states that it’s illegal for a company to hire undocumented workers.

Mateo was one of three of the “Dream 9” who voluntarily traveled to Mexico before returning to the United States illegally as an act of protest. Her Twitter page links to a plea for contributions to help pay for her law school education. The fund drive only raised $310. Her biography there starts by explaining that she’s an illegal alien:

My name is Lizbeth Mateo. I’m an undocumented immigrant who was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 14. My parents immigrated to California in search of a better life, like many other parents. At first I was excited to move to a place where I thought my hard work would sooner or later pay off. Then I realized that for an undocumented immigrant like myself things would be a bit more difficult. 

A few paragraphs later, Ms. Mateo goes on to explain how her status as an illegal alien spurred her to activism, including moving to Washington D.C. to work as a community organizer in the restaurant industry.

Even though I wanted to pursue a law career right away, financial reasons and the uncertainty of not having legal status made me choose a different path. I became heavily involved in the fight to pass the DREAM Act; became one of the first undocumented students to risk arrest and deportation in Arizona in May of 2010; and then moved to DC in 2011 to organize restaurant workers.

According to Ms. Mateo’s LinkedIn resume, she was the Policy and Research Coordinator at Restaurant Opportunities Center of DC.

Here’s how ROC-DC describes itself on their website:

ROC-DC is a local restaurant workers’ organization founded in September 2009. We are dedicated to improve the working conditions in the restaurant industry. Currently we have over 500 restaurant worker members and we actively outreach to workers from all communities across the District to build, develop, and lead the worker center.

ROC-DC is affliated with the national ROC group that pushes a left-wing agenda by community organizing and direct actions against restaurants. As the New York Post writer Michael Saltsman explained the group’s history:

By late 2003, ROC co-founder Saru Jayaraman had explicitly stated that her group’s goal was to organize the “non-union 90 percent of New York City’s restaurant workforce.” ROC aimed at creating a “labor-friendly climate” to pave the way for union organizing drives.

Top New York chefs like Daniel Boulud learned this lesson the hard way. ROC launched a series of racially-tinged protests outside his restaurant — complete with a giant blow-up cockroach — in conjunction with a lawsuit accusing the chef of racist hiring practices.

This was hardly a pro-employee event: As The New York Times reported at the time, Boulud’s employees actually held their own protests against ROC’s provocateurs.

Boulud settled the lawsuit in 2007 without admitting guilt, paying ROC $80,000 to go away. ROC has since exported this model across the country to nine new chapters: Ignore its demands and face protests and lawsuits; take the “high road” and acquiesce, and you’ll be left alone.

Due to the publicity that Ms. Mateo received for publicly risking arrest prior to her work with ROC-DC, it’s unclear how the Restaurant Opportunities Center would not have been aware of Ms. Mateo’s immigration status if and when she was hired.

However, ROC-DC clearly knows about Ms. Mateo’s status now, since their Facebook Page posted the following just a couple of weeks ago, on July 17th:

Many of you familiar with ROC-DC know Lizbeth and know she is a fearless advocate for immigrant rights. Please watch this video to see what she is up to post -ROC and share! We need to bring her home!

And on July 22nd, The ROC-DC Facebook page featured another video and said:

Watch this now. It’s happening live! Call 202-732-5000 and ask for DREAMers to be let out of detention at the US/Mexico border. Please call now on behalf of our friends Lizbeth Mateo and Marco Saavedra.

Breitbart News has reached out to ROC-DC for comment.



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