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Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago and Wendy Carrillo Announce Legislation to Provide Resources to Salvadorans Facing Trump Administration Threat

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Wendy Carrillo (D-East Los Angeles) announced that they will introduce joint legislation to fight the Trump Administration on deportation of Salvadorans from California.

“First they came for Muslims – a group they wanted to deport solely based upon their ethnicity and religion. Now here we are a year later, and the President and his Administration have unconscionably decided to deport over 250,000 Salvadorans living in the United States…for absolutely no provocation or ‘reason,’ said Assemblymember Santiago. “As the representative of one of the largest Salvadoran populations in the country, I cannot sit silently by while this happens. There must be compromise and thoughtfulness in how we proceed with immigration reform. Recklessly tearing apart families and communities is not a justifiable policy proposal.”

Earlier today, President Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, announced that the federal government would end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 262,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live in the United States for decades. The Administration is allegedly making this determination based upon a strict interpretation of the original TPS statute, where only conditions directly related to the original disaster are taken into account.

“As an immigrant from El Salvador, Trump’s deplorable actions really hit home. Tearing hundreds of thousands of families apart exemplifies just how callous and out of touch the Trump administration is,” stated Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo.  “More Salvadorans call California home than anywhere else in the United States, and they work hard every day to achieve the American Dream while contributing to our communities and California’s economy. I will work with my colleagues and Congress to help find routes to permanent residency for Salvadorans, and others, facing deportation in light of ending temporary protected status for El Salvador, a policy in effect in the wake of civil war, earthquakes, and a current drought crisis.”

TPS, which allows immigrants to live and work legally in the US, was granted to those from El Salvador after a series of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001. The status has been extended several times since under both Republican and Democratic administrations due to drought, poverty, and widespread gang violence.

According to the Center for Migration Studies, Salvadoran beneficiaries of TPS have 192,700 American-born beneficiaries in the United States. 88% of the population participates actively in the workforce (compared to 63% of the general population) and nearly one quarter of TPS Salvadorans have mortgages.

The two legislators, both of whom are members of the Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety, have decided to introduce urgency legislation to augment the budget of the Immigration Services Branch of the California Department of Social Services (DSS) by $10 million for the express purpose of funding legal services for Salvadorians affected by today’s federal action. This unit distributes grants to non-profits that provide legal assistance to California’s many immigrants.

The legislation is currently being drafted and the authors expect to be able to introduce their measure late this week.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly's Communications and Conveyance Committee, and a member of both the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the California Latino Legislative Caucus. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon. 

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo is the newly elected representative of the 51st Assembly District. She is also a member of both the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the California Latino Legislative Caucus. Her district includes East Los Angeles and the neighborhoods of El Serena, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Northeast LA and parts of Silver Lake.

CONTACT: (Santiago), (916) 319-2053
(Carrillo) (916) 319-2051