Resilience Force is and environmentalist and illegal immigration activism organization that supports local governments aiming to create more left-of-center policy on such issues. It claims to represent the so-called “resilience workforce” of disaster aid workers. 1
The entity is a project of the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), which is itself a project of NEO Philanthropy, a fiscal clearinghouse for left-of-center and liberal causes. NGA focuses on liberal expansionist immigration policy and advocates for legislation to enact it.
Resilience Force and its employees were highly active after Hurricane Irma which hit Florida in 2017. The organization sought out illegal immigrant workers to help lobby local governments seeking more lenient legislation for illegal immigrants working after natural disasters. The organization hosted a protest at a meeting of Bay County commissioners in which multiple illegal immigrants alleged “wage theft” and other labor infringements during post-hurricane cleanup efforts. Resilience Force also attempted to sway local governments against cooperating with federal authorities when it came to illegal immigrants.2
Illegal Workers and Climate Change
Saket Soni, executive director for Resilience Force, helped author a September 2019 article which covered illegal immigrant workers and climate change. The article praises the Green New Deal, a radical environmental legislative proposal introduced by left-wing U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). The article called for greater restrictions on private companies which would require greater government oversight on most aspects of business. The article also claimed that “wealthy and disproportionately white men make money during recoveries; poor black and brown people lose money,” going on to propose that “contracts for recovery” be drafted by labor unions that would have the power to protect illegal immigrants and force companies to pay workers certain amounts above the power of local government.3
Saket Soni is the founder and executive director for Resilience Force. Soni is also the director for National Guestworker Alliance. He previously worked as the director for New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, a liberal organization which campaigns for ethnic-interest policies and labor-union aligned employment policies. Soni serves as a member of the board of directors for Greenpeace, one of the most radical environmentalist networks in the United States. Soni is also a regular contributor to HuffPost, a left-leaning news and opinion website.4 5
Cynthia S. Hernandez is a senior manager for Resilience Force. She previously worked as a social studies professor and researcher at Florida International University where she studied immigration and labor. She went on to become the South Florida executive director for the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the United States. 6
Javiera Alarcon is a program officer for Resilience force. She previously worked as a fellow for the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-wing think tank based in Washington, D.C.; a canvasser for NARAL Pro-Choice America, a large pro-abortion rights advocacy organization; and as a field organizer with MoveOn.org, a large centralized forum for petitions which usually advocate left-of-center and liberal issues.7
Resilience Force, being a project of a non-profit, is not required to report income or spending independently of its parent organization, NEO Philanthropy.
NEO Philanthropy has received multiple grants listed for use as support of resilience force. General Service Foundation, a left-of-center philanthropic organization, donated $60,000 to the organization in 2018 stating that the project would give a “new-identity” to illegal immigrant workers and workers of color.8
The Nathan Cummings Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking organization, made a $100,000 grant in 2018 to Resilience Force. Resilience Force, the National Guestworker Alliance, and NEO Philanthropy are labeled as partners of the Nathan Cummings Foundation. 9
- “Transforming America’s Response to Disasters.” Resilience Force. Resilience Force, October 5, 2019. https://resilienceforce.org/.
- “Hurricane Chasers: An Immigrant Workforce on the Trail of Extreme Weather.” Jordan, Miriam. NYTimes.com. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/us/hurricane-undocumented-immigrants-workers.html/
- “How Workers Can Demand Climate Justice.” TODD E. VACHON, GERRY HUDSON, JUDITH LEBLANC & SAKET SONI. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://prospect.org/labor/workers-can-demand-climate-justice/.
- “Board of Directors.” Greenpeace USA. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/about/board-members/.
- “About Saket Soni.” Resilience Force. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://resilienceforce.org/.
- “About Cynthia Hernandez.” Resilience Force. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://resilienceforce.org/.
- “About Javiera Alarcon.” Resilience Force. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://resilienceforce.org/.
- “2018 Grants Made.” General Services Foundation. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://generalservice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-Grants.pdf.
- “NEO Philanthropy Grants.” Nathan Cummings Foundation. Accessed October 11, 2019. https://nathancummings.org/partner/neo-philanthropy/.