CISPES: Trump´s TPS Decision is Racist and Anti-immigrant
On the occasion of a U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities delegation visit to El Salvador from the State of Maine, CISPES joined the Sister Cities Network and the Share Foundation to denounce the Trump administrations recent decision to rescind Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for over 200,000 Salvadorans who currently reside in the U.S.
In January, hundreds of religious, human rights, immigrant rights and labor organizations, including CISPES, denounced the Trump Administration´s decision to end TPS designation for El Salvador. The decision, that can aptly be characterized as a racist and xenophobic use of brute force against migrants of various nationalities, is already having serious social and political repurcussions in the United States and El Salvador.
Despite enormous efforts by the Salvadoran government, which worked tirelessly to protect TPS-holders in the US, the Trump administration chose to ignore political pressure, public opinion, and expert advice. This indicates that the Administration’s actions are driven by its own political agenda to reduce the immigrant population in the U.S. by any means necessary. During the press conference delegates cited Trumps own vile use of words as proof, ¨President Trump’s recent statements regarding Haiti, El Salvador and the entire continent of Africa placed his racist attitude towards people of color on full display; they are unacceptable and we condemn them¨ said representatives in a statement. (Read full statement here.)
Similarly in El Salvador, some politicians have tried to blame the Salvadoran government’s sovereign policy decisions for the cancellation and have attempted to use the TPS decision for their own electoral gain. With just weeks a few weeks left before the awaited 2018 legislative and municipal elections, CISPES is committed to supporting free and fair elections in El Salvador, including to ensure whenever possible that false statements regarding U.S. policy or diplomacy in El Salvador are not used to influence or manipulate votes from making a free and informed choice.
In November, our organizations urged Ambassador Manes to clarify to the Salvadoran public that any TPS decision would be a result of evaluation of conditions entirely independent of the Salvadoran government’s sovereign policies. Nevertheless, the ambassador has not made any public statements responding to the gross mischaracterization of the decision that have emerged frequently in the media over the past month.
In the press conference representatives reminded the Ambassador of that initial demand, ¨We urge Ambassador Manes, who has thus far declined to correct these mischaracterizations, to make that plain. Unless she does so, the U.S. Ambassador can reasonably be viewed as being used to influence the electoral process in El Salvador.¨ Since the initial decision, hundreds of people in the U.S. have signed a petition calling on the Ambassador to speak out, lest she too be complicit in the political manipulation of TPS by opposition interests. (Click here to add your name!)
Thanks to the leadership of immigrant rights organizations, labor unions, TPS beneficiaries who are organizing across the country and the efforts of the government of El Salvador to illustrate the contributions of Salvadorans to the United States, several bills have already been presented in Congress that would create a path towards permanent residency for TPS beneficiaries.
The National TPS Alliance, a coalition of organizations representing TPS recipients of various nationalities fighting for a permanent solution for TPS holders across the U.S. have endorsed two bills. ¨The American Promise Act in the House of Representatives and the SECURE Act in the Senate are two such bills the Alliance supports. U.S. – El Salvador Sister Cities, SHARE and CISPES are committed to working with the social movements across the United States towards a just and humane immigration policy, for the sake of both of our countries.¨
Hundreds of TPS beneficiaries have gathered on Capital Hill this week for their 3rd National conference in which they will strategize a series of congressional actions that could provide an opportunity for TPS beneficiaries from all nationalities who have lived in the U.S. for over 5 years and who meet certain criteria to apply for permanent residency, as they deserve the opportunity to do.
Media contact: Jacob Blickenov, CISPES + 1 (202) 521-2510 ext. 202 or [email protected]