FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2023
Mynellies Negrón | 703.585.6727 | firstname.lastname@example.org
On the ground:
Diego Samayoa | 872.888/3594| email@example.com
Daysi Funes | 312.998/0978 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Local elected officials of Chicago and El Salvador General Consulate will join immigration advocacy groups and young leaders from families with different immigration statuses in a press conference to commemorate and celebrate St. Oscar Romero’s life and legacy and call on the Biden administration to protect Central American families and mixed-status families through Temporary Protection Status (TPS) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) humanitarian programs, and elevate Centro Romero’s humanitarian assistance work with newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers, inspired by St. Oscar Romero’s legacy. Alone in 2022, Centro Romero has assisted more than 1,500 asylum and refugee seekers.
WHEN: Friday, March 24, at 10:00 am CDT
CHICAGO – Alderman Andre Vasquez joins through a virtual support message, as well as Central American Consulates will join the immigrant advocacy groups Centro Romero, Chicago Religious Leadership Network, Alianza Americas, and young leaders from families with different immigration statuses in a press conference on Friday, March 24, to commemorate and celebrate St. Oscar Romero’s life and legacy. During the press conference, the advocates will also call on the Biden administration to protect Central American families through the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) and mixed-status families through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) humanitarian programs. Centro Romero also will inform about its humanitarian assistance work with newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers, inspired by St. Oscar Romero’s legacy. To date, Centro Romero has provided legal screenings, provisional housing and public benefits assistance to more than 1,500 migrants who have recently arrived in the Chicago area from across the country, including several migrants who were bussed to Chicago from Texas.
Ald. Vasquez, whose parents are of Guatemalan origin, will speak alongside local immigrant youths and families, as well as other members of the community, to emphasize the importance of keeping families together, an issue that is of critical importance for the 11.6 million voters of Latin American descent that will participate during this year’s midterms.
Centro Romero and Chicago Religious Leadership Network are among the over 50 migrant-led organizations that make up the Alianza Americas coalition, a network of activist groups fighting for equity and human rights in 18 states. These organizations function as the system of care that various immigrant and refugee communities need when they arrive in this country.
Centro Romero is a community-based not-for-profit organization that serves the communities of Edgewater, Rogers Park, and Uptown on the northeast side of Chicago. From volunteer efforts of Salvadoran immigrants arriving in the city in the early 1980s, Centro Romero was founded in 1984 to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing Latino immigrant and refugee populations. It is named in honor of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a Salvadoran Roman Catholic cleric who was killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador in 1980 for his outspoken defense of human rights of his native Salvadorans during its long civil war. He was declared a saint in October 2018. The mission of Centro Romero is to empower those with the fewest options in the immigrant and refugee community by developing and strengthening the family unit, fostering community leadership, and providing quality social and adjustment services. Due to the Covid pandemic starting in March 2020, we shifted mostly to remote services, using phone calls, texting, and Zoom meetings. In 2022, with many in-person services returning, our staff of 59, with the help of 148 volunteers who provided 5,284 service hours, empowered 33,116 clients in three programs, including 25,449 persons educated in outreach activities.