Jan. 8, 2018: California Legislators Release Statements on Latest Assault by Trump Administration on Immigrants in California

January 08, 2018

Guest Press Release

SACRAMENTO California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement today after the Trump Administration moved to terminate the temporary protected status of more than 200,000 El Salvadoran immigrants living in the United States.

“Ripping hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants from their communities, families and children is foolish and immoral.  The Trump administration is pursuing an agenda of racial animus that divides America and makes us weaker.

“California is home to the most El Salvadoran immigrants in the nation, and they work hard to provide for their families and contribute tremendously to our state’s economy.  Preventing them from pursuing their American dream and sending them back to a country that is unstable and unsafe is cruel and disconnected from any sense of humanity.

“This year we allocated $45 million to fund legal services for immigrants in California who have to deal with this type of problem – so anyone impacted by today’s decision by the administration’s decision should contact an attorney.

“My colleagues in the Legislature will also continue working with community organizations to ensure our El Salvadoran community has the support they need to get through this uncertain time and we will keep our vow to protect law-abiding immigrants from the Trump deportation machine.”

Please visit the state’s Immigrant Guide here: http://immigrantguide.ca.gov/

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-East Los Angeles), who came to the United States as a young undocumented child from El Salvador fleeing civil war and is now the only Salvadoran member of the Legislature, released the following statement:

“As a fellow immigrant from El Salvador, Trump’s deplorable actions really hit home.  Tearing hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants from their families exemplifies just how callous and out of touch the Trump administration is.  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.”

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), whose Los Angeles-based district is home to many Salvadorans, today issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement to end protected status for Salvadorans.

“This is yet another divisive, dangerous and thoughtless move that strikes a blow to those who sought refuge and freedom to work and earn the American Dream.  They fled earthquake-ravaged El Salvador to begin new lives away from gangs, poverty and violence.”

Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) released this statement after the Department of Homeland Security announced it would revoke temporary protected status and end humanitarian immigration for 260,000 Salvadorans living in the U.S. since 2001. 

“For decades, Republican and Democratic presidents have protected immigrants from countries hit by natural disaster or war.  The Trump Administration’s repeal of humanitarian immigration for Salvadoran immigrants is its latest assault on American compassion. 

“Salvadoran immigrants endured a disastrous civil war and devastating hurricane, but they have rebuilt their lives here.  The Trump Administration’s decision will push hundreds of thousands of people and their children into the shadows.  Those who return to El Salvador will face a country ravaged by transnational gangs with one of the world’s highest murder rates.

“Ending humanitarian protection for Salvadorans, Haitians and Nicaraguans serves no purpose – other than to further divide our nation and expose them to crime and scams.”

Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to revoke legal refugee status for a quarter million Salvadoran refugees:

“Donald Trump’s decision to deport a quarter million Salvadoran refugees is simply despicable.  These American residents came here 20 years ago from El Salvador after a massive and destructive earthquake.  The United States did what we have done for so long – we welcomed them and helped them get their lives back.  For 20 years, they have lived here, raised children, started businesses, paid taxes, and just lived their lives.  What on earth would motivate this President to revoke their status and kick them out of the country?  This move is deeply inhumane and, frankly, un-American.  I can only hope that the President decides not to take this step or that, if he does, Congress has the guts to overrule him.  But regardless, I want to be very clear to our Salvadoran neighbors: We have your backs, and will be there to defend you and stand with you.  We will resist.” 

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) added, “First they came for the 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’.  As the representative of one of the largest Salvadoran populations in the country, I loudly declare that this cannot happen.  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.”