FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 28, 2021
Fernanda Durand | (214) 402-0186 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Treviño | (786) 201-8958 | email@example.com
Experts share their thoughts on how to better protect immigrants in the U.S.
Today, Alianza Americas and Presente.org hosted a virtual press conference with member organizations Central American Resource Center of Washington, D.C., Centro Romero of Chicago, and the Latino Commission on AIDS (NYC) to raise the voices of immigrant communities and provide reflections on the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration, as well as reflections on the congressional gridlock around immigration legislation.
Abel Nunez from the Central American Resource Center of Washington D.C. shared the following:
“We haven’t seen a lot of follow-through on promises from the Biden-Harris administration [regarding immigration]. We are pleased to see the end of the MPP, Remain in Mexico program, and the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans. [However,] the continuation of Title 42 is something that is worrisome, [as it] was used as a tool to prevent people from coming into the U.S. We request the Biden-Harris administration to continue to fight and work with members of Congress and with civil society to develop policies that protect migrants who are in the country and to also deal with the future influxes of migrants. We are willing to work with the President, and with Congress, to reach these goals. It is not a crisis at the border. What is a crisis is what people are fleeing and experiencing. We are observing not only climate change but also government problems, [which cause people to flee]. We need to acknowledge that the U.S. emits a lot [and contributes] to the changing climate, and the U.S. needs to take responsibility for this. Migration should be an option.”
Daysi Funes of Centro Romero in Chicago added:
“We have requested that the President use his executive power to protect the most vulnerable in the country: migrants. He yields the executive power to [create] a new designation of TPS, and we are asking that he become the champion of this program. TPS and DACA are programs that need to be extended, including [to people from] countries like Guatemala. TPS for all Central Americans is important, and if they do not receive TPS they could be separated from their families, [despite the fact they] are people who have been essential workers throughout the pandemic. [In fact] 85% of TPS holders are essential workers, 11% own their own business, and 30% own their homes. We wish to [help them] acquire a pathway to permanent residence. We need to acknowledge that people are feeling vulnerable because of insecurity, violence, and their financial situations. We need to create stability not only for the countries of origin, but for communities here in the U.S.”
Judith Montenegro of the Latino Commission on AIDS (New York) said:
“While the affordable care act has offered [many health] coverage, with a new special enrollment, DACA and TPS holders are excluded from the Affordable Care Act. Immigrants and their families are penalized for seeking services when they are ill and are being excluded from economic reliefs packages. We hope the administration will take a further look to ensure all Latinx communities have access to healthcare coverage. Controlling the pandemic depends on making public health truly public and available for all. None of us are safe if some of us continue to be excluded. Any stimulus package must include undocumented migrants. We recognize that the pandemic will not be ended without economic support for all families in the United States. The Biden-Harris administration has shared bold actions for COVID-19, but more focus is required to see how we [can] involve communities of color.”
You can watch the full press conference in Spanish here.
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.