Alert Update: Join the Outrage Against Bush's Manipulation of Immigration Policy
Maria Pleitez: Threat to US Security or to Bushs Privatization Policies?
Since last week CISPES has been mobilizing people to stop the Bush Administrations latest abuse of immigration law which would prevent foreigners from voicing opposition to U.S. policy. On September 20, in an effort to keep us from hearing the truth about the growing opposition to the disastrous U.S. economic program in El Salvador the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador denied union leader Maria de los Angeles Pleitez Carcamo a visa to come on a speaking tour of the U.S.
Check out the coverage of the CISPES alert:
Pleitez is scheduled to participate in CISPES's "We Are Not Terrorists, Organizing is Democracy!" tour from Oct 16-31. During the tour Pleitez will talk about her union's work to stop the privatization of the public health care system and the increasing repression that social movement and union leaders are suffering from the Salvadoran government.
Embassy officials made the blatant political nature of the visa refusal clear. Pleitez presented the U.S. Consulate in San Salvador with an impressive array of documents, including proof of work, family ties, and over a dozen letters of invitation from Congressional Representatives and community groups. But the Embassy wanted to know about her political affiliations. The U.S. consular representative questioned Pleitez about her ties to CISPES and her union work and concluded the interview by referring to the importance of U.S. security as the reason for her not being allowed to travel in the U.S.
Union leaders from the U.S. and elected officials have responded to the visa denial for the Salvadoran unionist. On September 24 the many officials and CISPES supporters who had written the Consulate received a letter of response from Consul General Carl S. Cockburn asserting that It would be entirely irresponsible for anyone to attach a political explanation to this matter, in the same manner that it would be dishonest of an applicant to attribute to one of our consular officers political comments that the officer would never make. CISPES subsequently responded to Mr. Cockburn and reiterated our belief that the rejection of Pleitezs visa was in fact political in nature. Click here to see a copy of the CISPES response to the US Embassy.
And finally, dont forget to support the important work CISPES does to bring the powerful voices of social movement leaders like Maria Pleitez to the U.S.!