Abascal, Ralph (San Francisco)

Excerpted from Tim Golden’s obituary of Abascal, published in the NYTimes on March 19, 1997.

“Ralph S. Abascal, a pioneering legal-services lawyer in California who won landmark decisions on behalf of farm workers, welfare recipients and undocumented immigrants, died on Monday at his home in Berkeley.  He was 62 and had been suffering from cancer…

…He was among the first and most vigorous combatants in environmental law, winning cases that forced an end to the agricultural use of DDT and other pesticides…

The grandson of a stonemason from the Spanish seaport of Santander, Mr. Abascal said he had inherited some of his liberalism from his father, Manuel, who lost three brothers in the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.  As a young man, Manuel Abascal traveled to Cuba, helped build a railroad in northwestern Mexico and then walked across the border to San Diego.  He settled in San Francisco, where his son Ralph Santiago was born on May 31, 1934.  Mr. Abascal[‘s] mother came from a family of immigrant fruit-pickers…”

***

Extracto sacado del obituario de Abascal escrito por Tim Golden y publicado en el NYTimes el 19 de marzo de 1997.
“ Ralph S. Abascal, un abogado y pionero en los servicios legales de California que ganó casos a favor de los agricultores, beneficiarios de asistencia social, e inmigrantes indocumentados, murió el lunes en su casa de Berkeley. Tenía 62 años y padecía cáncer…
…Fue de los primeros combatientes legales en la causa ambiental ganando procesos que forzaron poner fin al uso de DDTs y otros pesticidas en los campos de cultivo…
Nieto de un cantero español del puerto de Santander, el señor Abascal aseguraba haber heredado algo del liberalismo de su padre, Manuel, el cual perdió a tres hermanos por la causa republicana en la Guerra Civil Española. De joven, Manuel Abascal viajó a Cuba, ayudó a construir las vías ferroviarias en el noreste de México y luego cruzó a pie la frontera hasta San Diego. Finalmente se estableció en San Francisco, donde su hijo Ralph Santiago nació el 31 de mayo de 1934. La madre de Abascal venía de una familia de migrantes recolectores de fruta…”

One Response to Abascal, Ralph (San Francisco)

  1. Ralph Abascal, more than any other descendent of the Hawaiian Spaniards contribution to immigrant workers lives and health and welfare has gone untold, until know. Thanks professors Fernadez

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