- Category: Latest News on Immigrant Rights
The Association for the Development of El Salvador, CRIPDES and U.S.- El Salvador Sister Cities take a position on President Obama´s executive action on immigration.Read more...
By Alexandra Early, originally published on www.counterpunch.org
As someone who just returned from living and working in El Salvador, I’m still having a hard time adjusting to our mainstream media’s never-ending wave of know-nothing commentary on the subject of immigration.Read more...
On March 8th, CRIPDES, Share, Centro Romero of Chicago and Causa Oregon held a press conference and rally to launch the Residency Now campaign in El Salvador. The Residency Now campaign is aimed at getting Permanent Residency status for the approximately 64,000 Hondurans, 212,000 Salvadorans, and 3,000 Nicaraguans who have been awarded Temporary Protective Status (TPS) between the late 1990´s and today. TPS was originally granted because of the devastating effects on Central Americans of natural disasters like Hurricane Mitch, but TPS beneficiaries have been allowed to remain in the U.S. since then with mandatory renewal every 18 months. Now, over a decade later, thousands of families remain in this state of limbo, paying their taxes, building up businesses and homes, but without the security of knowing they have permanent resident status.
In January, the Immigration Task Force for Central Americans (ITCA) officially launched their campaign to push for a law granting permanent residence for Central American TPS recipients. Since then ITCA has been educating voters around the country through regional campaign launch events. At the San Salvador launch, Cripdes brought out community members and family members of TPS recipients to show their support for the campaign and talk about why getting residency for their loved ones is so important. The event got significant coverage in the Salvadoran press.
To show support, the Sister Cities’ election delegation participated in the event. We at Sister Cities know that achieving residency for TPS recipients will benefit the communities and family members of TPS recipients throughout the CRIPDES regions we work with. The department of Chalatenango for example has a great number of families with one or two TPS recipients living in the US. To help bring attention to the issue, we will be collecting the stories of the family members of TPS recipients to help show why achieving the full rights and security of residents is so important for their loved ones.
One important step Sister Cities committees can take is to send in a letter of support for the campaign and urge organizations and parishes in your area to do the same.
Below is a letter from Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities explaining why their experiencing working in solidarity with the people of El Salvador motivates them to support the Residency Now Campaign. We urge all our committees to send in similar letters of support.
Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities
A Sustainable Development and Friendship Project in El Salvador
May 6, 2012
Immigration Taskforce for Central America
c/o Jose Artiga
2425 College Drive
Berkeley, CA 94704
Dear Immigration Taskforce for Central America:
This letter is submitted to express our support for the campaign to secure legal permanent residency status for Central Americans under the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) program.
We have worked with Salvadoran immigrants for close to 20 years in connection with our Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities Committee, a local project of U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities. Together with Salvadorans in the Chicago area, the committee has supported sustainable development in our sister city. Assisting development in El Salvador raises the living standards of Salvadorans in their home country. A serendipitous result is less pressure for Salvadorans to leave their own country.
However, many of the Salvadorans who work with our sister-city committee came to the United States in more difficult times. They are TPS participants who have established roots in the U.S. and have strengthened the Chicago metropolitan community in which they live. They are spouses and parents of U. S. citizens. They are hard workers who make important economic contributions to this nation. They support their families both here and in their country of origin through remittances. Most importantly, they have a desire to continue contributing to the U. S. and fully integrate themselves in American society to ensure a thriving future for their families and communities.
We understand that Salvadorans in the TPS program have lived in the U.S. for over ten years and have complied with U.S. policies, such as paid fees to the government to maintain their status, paid taxes, undergone background checks and demonstrated to be people of good moral character. Under these circumstances, we believe they have earned the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents.
We applaud ITCA’s efforts to resolve this aspect of U.S. immigration procedure and we join you in your campaign to bring legal permanent residency to Central Americans. Please let us know how we can work together to make this initiative a reality.
Sheila Brady, Coordinator
Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities
U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities