FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 8, 2020
Fernanda Durand | (214) 402-0186 | [email protected]
Alianza member organizations in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Texas host public actions demanding Congress protect vulnerable populations from deportation and family separation. Time’s Up! Do Your Job!
CHICAGO – Today, Alianza Americas led member organizations in states across the U.S. in a National Day of Action calling on elected officials in Congress to prevent the erosion of protections for nearly 400,000 TPS holders and one million DACA beneficiaries who face potential deportation and family separation as the Trump administration further dismantles the relief programs. The 116 Congress has less than 100 days to do something to prevent TPS and DACA holders from facing extreme danger or potential death if deported.
This September, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Trump has the authority to end the TPS program for beneficiaries from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The decision was a devastating blow for the hundreds of thousands of TPS holders currently residing and working in the U.S.– many of whom have been in the U.S. for decades and have U.S. citizen children.
“For almost four years, thousands of DACA recipients and TPS holders have walked the Congress aisles and led dozens of in district visits; they have told their stories countless of times to their members of Congress; they have told them about the risk and harm TPS and DACA holders and their U.S. citizen children will face if they are not protected by a legislation that either extend their immigration status or provide lawful permanent residency,” said Yanira Arias, Alianza Americas’ national campaigns manager. “Yesterday, cities across the country were coming together to tell Congress: Time’s Up! Do your job, and protect our friends, co-workers, loved ones and neighbors.”
More than 130,000 TPS holders and 205,000 DACA recipients are essential workers that are risking their lives on the frontlines of COVID-19 to provide necessary services to their communities. Additionally, an estimated 270,000 U.S. citizen children are parented by TPS holders.
“By failing to take action, Congress is not only letting TPS and DACA holders down, but also failing our families, communities, and allies. We are tired of hearing empty promises,” said Maggie Lugo, Executive Director of Casa Michoacan in Chicago.
In Miami, the U.S. city with the largest population of Haitian TPS holders, the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) led an action to drive home the message.
“The state of Florida, and the city of Miami in particular, has been shaped by our tradition of welcoming those escaping persecution and looking for a better future for themselves and their families. That includes the more than 60,000 TPS holders in Florida. They are integral members of our communities and economy, and we must come together to protect them and the millions like them across this country,” said Yareliz Mendez-Zamora, TPS organizer from FLIC.
Among the other organizations that hosted actions across the U.S. were Casa Michoacán, Center for Immigrant Progress, and Centro Romero in Chicago, Illinois; Centro Presente with the support of the City Sommerville, Massachusetts; and Wind of the Spirit Resource Center in Morristown, New Jersey; Casa Yurumein in the Bronx, New York; and CRECEN Houston in Houston, Texas.
“Congress has less than 100 days to conclude, and passing permanent protections for TPS holders and DACA recipients must be a priority. Our elected officials cannot continue to kick the can down the road when many families will lose their immigration status and face deportation as soon as March 2021. We are tired of having our lives defined by deadlines. We need stability and peace of mind. Only Congress has the power to bring forward legislation to protect our communities. The lives of thousands hang in the balance,” said Katy Gil, Community Organizer at Casa Yurumein in the Bronx, NY
“We are raising our voices in unison to remind the public that we are members of your communities. We are your neighbors and your essential workers, we only want a chance to continue the lives we’ve made here where our children and families live,” said Irma Flores, a TPS holder from El Salvador and the Community Liaison at the City of Somerville.
Alianza Americas is the only transnational organization rooted in Latino immigrant communities in the United States focused on improving the quality of life of all people in the U.S.-Mexico-Central America migration corridor. As a network of Latino and Caribbean immigrants, Alianza Americas is working for change in the U.S. while also promoting a more stable, healthy, democratic and safer conditions in the countries of origin of their members.