Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

New Analysis Supports TPS for Guatemala

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Eurasia Review , an online news and analysis magazine, has published an article by Carly Steinberger, who writes for the Council for Hemispheric Affairs. Carly’s analysis compares the situation in Guatemala with that of the Central American countries that have been granted TPS, and comes to the same conclusion as Senator John Kerry, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and just about everyone else who has looked at this issue: Guatemala should be granted TPS.

It is always encouraging to read about new support for the TPS request, and we can only hope that this latest bit of analysis will be yet another weight that pushes the scales in Guatemala’s favor.  Stayed tuned for additional news.

P.S. Carly’s article was reprinted by EnerPub, a syndication site primarily focused on energy-related news.

Landslides Strike Guatemala

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Torrential rains have caused severe landslides througout Guatemala  over the last few days, with reports of casualties coming through several media sources from around the world. The damage, which comes as Guatemala still works to recover from twin natural disasters this spring, has brought additional global attention to the beleaguered nation, and highlights the need for immediate humanitarian assistance. 

Our thoughts go out to those impacted by the storm-wrought devastation, and we hope for the speedy and safe rescue of as many people as possible.

Otros Beneficios Disponibles Mientras Esperamos para el TPS

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Todo el mundo está esperando para la palabra de la administración de Obama sobre la aplicación de TPS guatemalteco, y su aspecto más y más probable que aún nos queda un poco de una espera por delante de nosotros. Entretanto, las personas reúnen sus documentos, cabildeo de sus gobiernos y preguntándose si existe cualquier otra cosa que pueden hacer. Además de los pocos beneficios de inmigración anunciados por USCIS al principio de junio, vale la pena recordar que toda la gama de beneficios de inmigración ordinaria siguen estando disponibles para los ciudadanos guatemaltecos. Estos incluyen peticiones de la familia y de empleo, las solicitudes de asilo y ajuste de estado.

Mientras la gente usualmente piensan de estos beneficios se está disponible para aquellos inmigrantes que están aquí “legalmente” (es decir, en estado), incluso los inmigrantes aquí fuera de estado pueden ser bien servidos por al menos algunos de estos beneficios. Inmigrantes que esta fuera de estado casada con ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos o residentes legales permanentes pueden todavía solicitar visados familiares, aunque el proceso es más complicado y es probable que requieran una audiencia delante de un juez de inmigración. Las solicitudes de asilo son quizás los más notables de estos beneficios porque estén disponibles para inmigrantes que está en estado y los que están fuera de estado y también incluso las personas que son capturadas en los procedimientos de eliminación (expulsión).

Hay unos casos recientes relacionados con peticiones de asilo de América Central, incluyendo uno que ha recibido mucho atención de los medios. El caso de Lesly Yajayra Perdomo ha atraído una gran cantidad de atención nacional.  Eso es porque sugiere que la mujer guatemalteca puede ser capaz de solicitar asilo sola en virtud de su sexo y nacionalidad.  No es muy probable que este caso vaya resultar en un cambio de ley de asilo general, pero lo que si ensena es que la posibilidad de asilo como un tipo de inmigración es disponible para  inmigrantes de Guatemala y el resto del mundo.

En resumen, si hay beneficios de inmigración que estén disponibles para usted, es mejor usarlos en ves de esperar que el TPS vaya ser aprobado.  Si hay posibilidad de cumplir los requisitos para cualquiera de estos beneficios de inmigración, valiera la pena llevar su caso a un abogado de inmigración competente. El podrá escuchar los detalles de su caso y explicar los derechos y oportunidades que tiene.  Si aún no cuenta con un abogado de inmigración y le gustaría tener las respuestas a sus preguntas, seria un placer  ayudarle.  Simplemente envíenos un correo electrónico a o llámenos al (209) 408-0104 (para ayuda en inglés) o al (209) 542-4529 (para ayuda en español).

John Kerry To Be Honored For TPS Support

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Prensa Libre reported today that the Guatemalan Congress intends to honor Senator Kerry for his recent support for the Guatemala TPS request.  The President of the Legislature, Roberto Alejos, called for an official Congressional Order recognizing Senator Kerry’s hard work in support of the TPS request, including his recent letter to President Obama urging the administration to grant the request.  There is hope that Senator Kerry will travel to Guatemala to receive the award, a trip that would simultaneously draw attention to the TPS request and allow the Senator to see how dire the situation is in Guatemala.

We would like to add our thanks to Senator Kerry, and to all of the other legislators who have expressed their support for the TPS request. Their support lends hope that the TPS request will be granted, a development that would ease the flood of deportations back to a country that is in no shape to properly absorb the return of over sixteen thousand deportees since January.

House Subcommittee Letter Available

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

As we reported yesterday, members of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere wrote to President Obama urging him to grant Guatemala’s TPS request.  We spoke to the office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), and received confirmation of the letter.  This morning we received an even better surprise: an actual copy of the letter, kindly forwarded to us by Representative Ros-Lehtinen’s office!

The letter is available for your viewing pleasure at this hand-crafted link, and the text of the letter is included below, for easy reference:

July 15,2010

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to immediately direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Guatemalans currently in the United States for an appropriate length of time relative to the current crisis.

As you know, on May 29,2010, Guatemala was hit hard by two natural disasters – Tropical Storm Agatha and the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano. Tropical Storm Agatha caused devastating floods and mudslides throughout Guatemala. The two disasters left 174 people dead and 104,639 people homeless. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom declared a State of Public Calamity in the entire country.

The socioeconomic impact of these disasters is estimated to be greater than either Tropical Storm Stan in 2005 or Hurricane Mitch in 1998. In addition to the immediate impact of Tropical Storm Agatha, torrential rains and mudslides continued to affect Guatemala throughout June.

As you are aware, nationals of a country may be designated for TPS when that country has suffered an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions and it is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals. With Tropical Storm Agatha and the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala has more than exceeded the conditions for TPS designation.

Honduras and El Salvador were also affected, although to a lesser degree, by Tropical Storm Agatha. Citizens of both countries living in the United States currently receive TPS. In fact, TPS for Honduras, EI Salvador and Nicaragua was recently extended to 2012. Unfortunately, Guatemalans living in the United States enjoy no such benefits.

Additionally, we urge the U.S. to continue its focused approach to support the government of Guatemala in its efforts to restore order within the country and ensure an expedited and lasting recovery from this most recent disaster.

Extending TPS to Guatemalans currently living in the United States would provide significant humanitarian benefits. As Members of Congress who care deeply about the Western Hemisphere, we urge you to act swiftly to grant TPS to Guatemalans in the United States.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


Eliot L. Engel
House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Connie Mack
Ranking Member
House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Jim McGovern
Vice Chairman
House Committee on Rules

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ranking Member
House Committee on Foreign Affairs

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Representatives Engel, Mack, McGovern, and Ros-Lehtinen for their support on this important issue.  As the letter notes, the humanitarian benefits of TPS for Guatemalans would be significant, and would be well in line with our treatment of similarly situated nations.   It is incredibly encouraging to see bipartisan support for an issue that is so pressing to so many.

Even more Congressional Support for TPS!

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry issued a press release stating that members of the Congressional Foreign Relations Comittee’s Subcomittee on the Western Hemisphere sent a letter to President Obama stating that they believe that Guatemala meets the qualifications for TPS.  The letter isn’t binding, of course, but is yet another example of the growing legislative support for Guatemalan TPS, and is in itself a very encouraging sign.

Particularly noteworthy is that this support was bipartisan, drawing support from both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the committee. We just got off the phone with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen‘s office, and they kindly confirmed that she had signed on to the letter.

John Kerry Lends His Support to the Guatemalan TPS Effort

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The latest public figure to lend their support to the Guatemalan TPS effort is none other than former Democratic presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator John Kerry.  In a development that has seen more widespread reporting than any TPS news since the eruption of the Pacaya volcano, Senator Kerry submitted a letter to President Obama calling for the administration to grant TPS.

The full text of the letter is available on Senator Kerry’s official site, marking a significant departure from the undisclosed letters submitted by other lawmakers. Senator Kerry’s letter highlights the challenges facing Guatemala as it struggles to rebuild after last months dual natural disasters and points out that “[t]he temporary assistance provided by TPS would go a long way to help Guatemala get back on their feet.”

More Legislative Support for Guatemalan TPS

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Last week, we posted a brief note about reported Congressional support for the Guatemalan TPS application.  That initial report actually related to a letter of support submitted by California Assemblymember Norma Torres, and we hope to have a copy of her letter up on here for you soon.

In the meantime, one of our commenters, Sergio, posted a link to a report of additional legislative support.  We spent some time tracking the news down, and can happily confirm the news: members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus signed onto a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, expressing their support for the Guatemalan TPS application. As with the earlier letter, we are working on getting a copy of the letter posted.

We have also placed requests for copies of the letters submitted by Nevada Assemblymembers Mo Denis and Ruben Kihuen, and will update everyone here as soon as we hear something back.


UPDATE: We got a hold of someone at the Hispanic Congressional Caucus and they confirmed that they did submit a letter in support of TPS, but informed us that they do not release the letters to the public. So, it looks like we’re going to have a hard time getting a copy of that letter to share with you all.

DHS TPS Committee to Visit Guatemala

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Presna Libre reported this morning that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will send a committee to Guatemala to assess the impact of Tropical Storm Agatha on that country.  This is a key part of the Obama administration’s review of the TPS application, and is a hope-inspiring sign for the thousands of Guatemalans who await a decision.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a rare form of immigration benefit granted on humanitarian grounds, and as such is considered very carefully by the granting presidential administration. It is natural that the administration would want to verify the scope of Agatha’s impact on Guatemala as it reviews the application and assesses the need for immigration benefits.  The very fact that such a committee has been formed is a positive sign, as it indicates that DHS is giving the application serious consideration.

The Prensa Libre article also highlights the fact that reports on Agatha’s impact are due soon from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It is very unlikely that the administration will make any decision about TPS before these reports are published, and the details of those reports are likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the Guatemalan TPS application.

Finally, the article highlights the impact that your letters to your local congresspeople and senators can have. Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez has now come out in support of the TPS application.  With the impending immigration fight looming in Congress, gaining the support of representatives and senators is important, and can best be achieved through small, personal efforts – by directly contacting the politicians who represent you.  Rather than drawing  a crowd through a protest or rally, get your friends and family to write or call their local congressperson or senator and ask them to support TPS on humanitarian grounds.

Guatemalan Organizations met with U.S Ambassador Stephen McFarland

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Both Prensa Libre and Siglo XXI reported on a meeting this week between Marcos Yax, president of the Coalición de Inmigrantes de Guatemala (roughly translated, the Coalition of Guatemalan Immigrants). The goal of the meeting was to share the Coalition’s support for Guatemala’s TPS application, and Mr. Yax submitted letters of support from twenty-four other organizations.

In addition to his meeting with Ambassador McFarland, Mr. Yax was scheduled to fly to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to meet with and lobby Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as well as Senators and Congressmen.  We have been unable to find any reports as to whether these meetings happened, and welcome any word from those of you who have some information on the matter.