By Nioves Mejia
Immigrant women are fighting for a permanent legal status after a presidential order threatens to send them back home and separate them from their families. Some of the women came to the US running from abuse relationships.
President Trump announced that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will soon come to an end. This announcement reinforce the intolerant politics of the President of the United States towards immigrant communities. For some recipients means the separation from their families.
Lately President Trump had extended the validity of TPS until January 2021. However, it is not enough. TPS families want a permanent status and the path for legalization. The Safe Community Act still pending in the Massachusetts Legislature that soon will be on recess due to the holidays.
“We are living here because we cannot be in our countries,” said Doris Landaverde; a Salvadorian mother living in Massachusetts. “We are demanding a permanent residence,” she said. Landaverde received a temporary status that allows her working in the US. She also hopes that Massachusetts become a Sanctuary State, where immigrants are no longer chivvy. One of her goals is to become a US citizen to vote in the elections and be part of the change that according to her is much needed in the nation.
The current political climate provides the perfect scenario for immigrant communities to be afraid. The resent announcement of the Trump administration about eliminating the Temporary Protect Status (TPS) arise wearisomeness to recipients. Recently the City of Boston investigates the allege cooperation of Boston Police Department with the U.S. Immigration and Costume Enforcement (ICE).
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services specifies which people qualify for TPS and the requirements to obtain it. El Salvador is the country with more beneficiaries. More than 145,00 Salvadorians are under that status that currently is on the tightrope.
President Trump announce the end of the TPS and in Massachusetts thousands of families were about to be separated. The Landaverdes are one of them.
In Massachusetts organizations such as MIRA provide a comprehensive support to the immigrant community. Activists are aware of how difficult the current political climate is and the rights of immigrants, women and minorities groups are in danger.
Marion Davis is the Communication Direct of MIRA the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. The organization is the main advocate for the Safe Community Act. A legislation that will covert Massachusetts into a sanctuary state.
“Currently we have a lot of problems. We are divided and it is time to be united,” said Davis.
The Bay State has a several communities with vast number of immigrants such as Chelsea, New Bedford, Springfield and many others. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that in the state none lives in fears and everyone’s right shall be respected.
Nataly Medina another advocate at MIRA rally in different places such as The Women’s March and in Beacon Hill supporting the Safe Community Act. “We want to protect undocumented people,” said Medina. A number of immigrants are hold in detention centers waiting for a hearing. Many of them will be deported to their native countries. Even though some individuals may had committed misdemeanors crimes, many others had been targeted. A hearing regarding this matter is pending in the State House.
The organization is pushing for the act that will protect undocumented immigrants as well as those who are in the process of getting a legal status including TPS recipients.
The fear among immigrants have increased greatly since the current administration.
For instance, it is not uncommon read President Trump’s tweets using derogative words towards immigrants. In a tweet from June 2nd 2019 the president of the US said “”stop the invasion of our Country by Drug Dealers, Cartels, Human Traffickers, Coyotes and Illegal Immigrants.” (@RealDonaldTrump)
Another local organization that provides a wide range of services to the Latino Community is Amplify LatinX. Rosario Ubiera-Minaya is the Executive Director and said the organization was crated after the hostile political rhetoric against the immigrant community during the 2016 elections.
“We observed the energy and interests of our community is focused on economic and political advancement. Therefore, we hope that civic movements like ours could provide the resources and support necessary for immigrant women to feel capable of achieving their personal and professional goals,” she said.
The current political climate had sparkled the activism across Massachusetts. Many organizations and individuals are stepping forward on behalf oppressed groups and immigrant communities. The state are facing the Safe Community Act and the extension of TPS, both crucial topics for the immigrant community.
“Women’s rights has been targeted under the current political climate. Specially for undocumented women. Harassment has increased particularly in the workplace with violations against salary rights, separating their families, etc.,” said Ubiera-Minaya.
The lack of representation had inspired many people to take leadership and model the change they wanted to see. Immigrant women are paying closer attention to the current political situation and used it as a momentum to run for elective positions. “Now women are more encouraged to participate in politic, school committees, board of education, we see our women being notorious in those arenas, “said Ubiera-Minaya.
Amplify Latinx is committed to build economic and political empowerment to Latinos in Massachusetts. Teaming with others community organizations that shares the same goals. According to Ubiera-Minaya the US economy will pay the consequences of not developing the full potential of the Latino community. The contribution of Latinos to the economy of the US will be greater once the community is empowered. This can be through civic engagement and leadership.
“Our community has to go out and vote if we really want to see changes,” she said. The Latino vote and the participation in the community has increased compared to other elections. The number of Latinos in the country are raising as well as those who are becoming able to vote.
The Pew Research Center predicts that by 2020 elections will be the first time Hispanic will be the largest ethnic minority eligible to vote. Local organizations also provide legal advice and civic engagement by assisting those who qualify in their path to citizenship and the importance of voting.
Among community leaders, politicians and immigrants agreed on the existence of a problem that needs immediate solution. Hundreds of thousands of women and their families are living in fear because they do not possess a Green Card. And the currents incumbents are allowing an uncomfortable time for the immigrants.
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, was straight forward pointing President Trump as the responsible for the hostile political environment. Not only against his opponents but against immigrants and women’s rights. “His politics are regressive and is taking us in the way back machine,” said U.S. Sen. Markey.
The Massachusetts politician offered his support to women. “Every young woman in our country regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of the country they come from can maximize their God-given abilities.
Doris Landaverde and her husband are living in the United States for 20 years. Both TPS holders are heading to Washington D.C. to protest for a permanent status. “We have children born and raised in this country and if we don’t get the status we are asking for we are taking the chance of being separated from our families,” she said.