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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rubio Joins National HBPA in Advisory Capacity as Organizations’ National Latino Liaison

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) is proud to announce that Julio Rubio will act in an advisory capacity for the association as its National Latino Liaison. Rubio, on loan as needed from the Kentucky HBPA, will act as a national liaison between trainers, workers, and administration, as well as with federal agencies. Rubio will also monitor the various national and state trends affecting immigration laws.

With the expanding number of states passing immigration legislation, trainers face a patchwork of laws that can potentially subject them to criminal prosecution and property forfeiture if they are not in strict compliance with immigration laws. In some states, transporting workers whose papers have expired in the trainer’s horse trailer could be prosecuted as trafficking of illegal workers.

The National HBPA has recognized the critical importance of immigration compliance in today’s immigration climate and, as a result, has identified Julio Rubio as the best qualified person to monitor local and national immigration trends, enable trainers immigration compliance through providing a ready source of information about laws affecting visa status and licensure, and act as a liaison between Latino workers, trainers, and track administration.

An American Citizen who was born in Mexico and grew up in both Tijuana and San Diego, California, Rubio has served the Kentucky HBPA as the Hispanic and backside services coordinator since 2003. In his duties for the Kentucky HBPA, Rubio acts as a field representative and liaison between the stable area track workers, trainers, and track administration. He has also represented interests of trainers and workers in many different circumstances, from immigration to licensure to social security to medical insurance issues. Additionally, Rubio is a board member of the Kentucky Hispanic Latino Coalition and a member of GLI (Louisville’s Chamber of Commerce).

As many of grooms and riders are from Mexico, Central and South America, Rubio’s primary responsibilities are to act as an interpreter, advocate, and community services liaison for issues related to immigration, worker safety, social security, income taxes, social, legal, and health care services, and issues related to acclimation to the local culture. In his duties, Rubio also provides extensive direct services for native backside workers.

According to Rubio, “For years, as part of the Kentucky HBPA’s mission, we have assisted both our trainer members and their H-2B employees (grooms, exercise riders, and jockeys) navigate through the logistically and intellectually challenging immigration system. I liaise with immigration attorneys and immigration officers to make sure that the prospective workers that come to Kentucky maintain their legally authorized immigration status, return to their countries consistently, are included on the list of eligible workers, provide proper relevant documents to establish their identity and legal status, talk with workers via telephone and, if they are in their country, give them information regarding timelines and assembly at the consulate. By providing this level of immigration service to trainer members of the Kentucky HBPA, the Kentucky HBPA relieves a nearly unworkable burden from its trainer members.”

Will Velie, an immigration attorney and president of National HBPA sponsor Horseman Labor Solutions asserted, "I have had the pleasure of working side by side with Julio Rubio for several years. I am always amazed at the level of commitment he has to the needs of the workers on the stable area of the track. It doesn’t matter where we go – whether Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, or New York – the grooms, hot walkers, and riders know Julio because of his dedication to their interests. Whether it is health care, English classes, immigration, social security needs, or anything else, Julio is always a constant resource to workers who often are newly arrived in the United States and in real need of a friend and advocate. His liaison between the horsemen and stable area workers will build bridges and ensure that the working environment is a positive place for everyone. The National HBPA and its trainer members are lucky to have such a dedicated representative on the ground solving problems.”

National HPBA President and Chairman Joe Santanna concurred, saying, “Julio has a very unique set of qualifications that will make him a very important addition to our National HBPA staff. His knowledge and experience with immigration issues and helping Latino workers integrate comfortably into the racing industry will be invaluable to our members and their employees at the track.“

Julio Rubio lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, Carmelita, and two children, Emanuelle, five, and Emiliano, two.

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