For Immediate Release
November 18, 2021
Erik Villalobos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Central American Families and Faith Leaders Lead Symbolic Crucifixion to Denounce Dehumanization of Immigrants and Refugees
(Washington DC) In the final critical week of the infrastructure and budget reconciliation discussions, Committees of the National TPS Alliance and Community Faith Leaders held an action in front of the White House to send a message to President Biden, Democratic leadership, and all members of congress denouncing the dehumanization of immigrants and refugees after a recent from the Washington Post, which alleges that top White House officials withheld life saving COVID-19 vaccines to jailed migrants with the deliberate intent to deter asylum-seeking. If true, such an action coupled with such an intention should be understood as a grave violation of human rights. The National TPS Alliance has made calls for attention, investigation, and action but this has gone unnoticed by lawmakers and a mainstream press that routinely objectifies and ignores Central American and Caribbean immigrants and refugees.
For eight hours, faith leaders in solidarity with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers were tied to wooden crosses in a mock-up crucifixion symbolizing how the suffering and dehumanization of migrants both at the border and in the United States, can be understood through the Crucifixion of Christ.
Faith Leaders and members of the National TPS Alliance made the following remarks at the action:
“Today, we are witnessing a mock-up on Jesus’ crucifixion, but we also want to demonstrate how our migrant people are being both psychologically and physically crucified by denying them the vaccine at the border, exploiting them, paying them low wages, and denying them permanent residency and equal rights.”– Pastor Francisco Aguirre, Salvadoran Activist from Portland, OR
“The idea that providing basic human rights for migrants will incentivize more ‘illegal’ crossings is a racist and misleading talking point used by right wing political pundits. It has scared centerists into believing that immigration has been the main cause for Democratic losses in recent elections. We know that this is obviously not the case. Our leaders should already know that the real root causes of today’s migration are motivated by ongoing destabilization in these regions which can all be tied to US foreign and economic policy; the famine, scarcity of resources, and overwhelming rates of natural disasters all tied to climate change.”– Nancy Vasquez, TPS Holder, Nelsy Umanzor TPS Committee
“This year, President Biden could have provided immediate relief for migrants and refugees on Day 1 through executive authority by fully re-designating and expanding the TPS program. Congress could have taken more proficient steps to guarantee green cards for millions. Instead, Democrats have once again decided to put their own political interests in front of the lives of migrants out of fear of losing future elections. Our struggle for Residency and equal rights will persist and remain unified, but we will always remain vigilant of those in power, we will never tolerate any form of dehumanization against our people and we will not accept any form of divisions being imposed upon our communities.”-José Palma, TPS Holder, Coordinator for the Massachusetts TPS Committee
“Immigrants are being subjected to mistreatment and even death both at the border and in the United States. Because just as Jesus was crucified, this administration continues to crucify our migrant people.”– Reverend José Sigfredo Landaverde, Salvadoran Activist from Chicacago, IL
The National TPS Alliance is a grassroots immigrant rights organization of over 50 committees nationwide, advocating for the permanent residency of more than 400,000 beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)