Young Voters Call on Midterm Candidates to Protect Families that Benefit From TPS Humanitarian Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2022
CONTACT: 
Elyssa Pachico  | +1 503 347 23 29 | [email protected] 
Myneilles Negron | +1 703 585 6727 | [email protected]

 

As part of a ten-day series of nationwide and international actions calling attention to the urgent need to protect Central American families through the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) humanitarian program, young voters from mixed status families are speaking out. They stressed that they view the November midterms as a litmus test for candidates: will those running for office take a stand for policies that keep immigrant families together, and that guarantee dignity, equality, and safety for communities? 

 

“My parents don’t have the right to cast a ballot, so this November, my vote is my family’s voice,” said Claudia Elizabeth Jorge Benitez from California, whose parents are beneficiaries of TPS. “When I cast my ballot, it’ll be for leaders who aren’t going to leave communities like mine out to dry. ”

 

From September 10 to September 20, Alianza Americas, a coalition of 58 grassroots organizations fighting for equity and human rights in 18 states, and other partners are backing nearly a dozen actions in ten cities across the United States and El Salvador. As part of the campaign, first-time voters, who are children of TPS parents or children of undocumented parents, are demanding action from policymakers to pass legislation that brings equality, protection, and keeps their families together.

 

“Because of all the uncertainty surrounding the future of TPS, my life is pretty much constant fear and uncertainty, not knowing for sure whether my sisters will lose their right to live and work in this country that I’ve always called home,” said Emily Rivas from Houston, Texas, whose sisters are beneficiaries of TPS. “When I vote in November, the number one question I have for candidates is, what are you going to do to keep families like mine from losing everything?”

Across the country, activists and leaders of Central American communities are calling on candidates running for local office, including city government, to make clear where they stand on issues that are key for improving the lives of TPS holders. This includes access to quality health care, decent housing, public education, emergency assistance during severe weather events, and access to driver’s licenses.

 

“City and state officials don’t have the power to expand or renew TPS, but they can pass the laws that guarantee greater equity and dignity in our communities,” said Yanira Arias, national campaigns manager at Alianza Americas and a TPS recipient. “The Biden-Harris administration has the power to give TPS to thousands of people, while city and local officials have the power to ensure our day-to-day lives are dignified and safe.” 

Events taking place over the ten-day period include:

 

9/10, Bronx, NY: Hijos de Livingston hosted a community dialogue event. 

9/11, Bronx, NY: Casa Yurumein hosted a Central American festival. 

9/14, San Salvador, El Salvador: ASOSAL-Los Angeles will host a press conference. (Learn more about this event here; information only available in Spanish). 

9/15, Chicago, IL: Centro Romero will host a press conference. (Learn more about the event here).

9/15, New Orleans, LA: Familias Unidas en Accion will host a press conference.

9/15, Washington, DC: CASA and DC partners will host a press conference and rally. (Access a digital toolkit, social media materials, and press advisories about this event here!) (Join the Twitterstorm at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, access sample copy here).  

9/15, North Bergen, NJ: Centro Comunitario CEUS will be holding a community dialogue.

9/15, Miami, FL: Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) and AFSC of Florida will be holding a press conference. 

9/15, Hyattsville, MD: Guatemalan Association Without Borders (Asociación de Guatemaltecos sin Fronteras) will be holding a community dialogue.

9/16, Minneapolis, MN: COPAL will host a special radio show on their network, Radio Jornalera (2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CT)

9/18, Houston, TX: CRECEN Houston will host national voter registration activities. 

9/20 Chicago, IL: Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN) will host a community conversation. 

 

 

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Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America. Alianza’s digital organizing powerhouse is Presente.org.

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