Thousands of Salvadorans are at the Risk of being Deported in 2019

Two devastating earthquakes hit El Salvador in January and February 2001, causing the deaths of more than 1,200 people, severely damaging over 185,000 homes, completely destroying over 150,000 homes and costing the small country $1.6million.

The earthquake rated between 7.6 and 7.9 on the Richter scale.

In response to the crisis, the 2001 Bush Administration added Salvadorans to the Temporary Protected Status program, which allows them to live and work legally in the United States if they reapply every 18 months for a $50 fee. Bush renewed the program in his second term and Obama as well renewed TPS through both his terms.

Yesterday, and after 16 years, Attorney General Jeff Sessions canceled the program and gave more than 250,000 Salvadoran under the program– who for the past two decades have worked, invested, paid taxes, started families and grew communities –until September 9, 2019 to obtain permanent residency or citizenship. If they are unable to do so, because of the cost or because if at the end they simply aren’t selected in time they will be deported and a multitude of U.S. families and communities will be shattered. For El Salvador, this means aggravating the process of a country currently reeling from extremely high rates of unemployment, violence, inequality and economic uncertainty. The 200,000 U.S. born children of the recipients need to be 21 years old before they can sponsor their parent(s). One is left to wonder whether Sessions doesn’t realize or doesn’t care about the negative economic and social impacts this decision to end TPS for over 300,000 international immigrants not only from El Salvador but from Hati, South Sudan, Syria and other countries will directly and abruptly have on the United States.

The following comes from The Intercept:

“The Trump administration has been more than willing to point to the existence of groups like MS-13 as justification for an immigration crackdown that includes the targeting of virtually all of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. At the same time, however, the threat that those criminal groups would pose to individuals returned to El Salvador — individuals who have raised families in the U.S. and contributed to society and the American economy — apparently mattered little in the TPS deliberations.”

Read the Full Article here.

View More: http://erikanizborski.pass.us/cpd09262017

VOICES denounces the AG’s decision and stays committed to working closely with our local Salvadoran partners as they prepare their communities for the effects of this policy change.

¿Estás afectado? Manténgase actualizado con el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional.


End of Year Giving

GIFMaker.org_yVvYdQ2017 was an outstanding year and without you, we could have never accomplished so much! We are deeply grateful for your invaluable solidarity and encourage you to continue following, liking and sharing our work in 2018. 

We also invite you to make a tax-deductible donation that will help us continue providing our local Salvadoran partners with the resources necessary to achieve the social, economic and political change they desire.

You can mail us a check to the address below or give online at votb.org/donate. 

Voices on the Border
5614 Connecticut Ave N.W.#103
Washington, D.C. 20015

We’d love to hear from you!

Click here to read our recent appeal letter.

Voices Developments, Water/Agua

Ending a Year of Celebration and Reflection

This November, VOICES hosted two back-to-back delegations, celebrated the founding anniversaries of Ciudad Segundo Montes in Morazán and community Padre Octavio Ortiz in the Bajo Lempa, and brought to a close several workshop courses with women, youth and veterans throughout the country.

As this year comes to a close, we want to share with you the work we’ve done, the relationships we continue to build and our hopes for the future. 

Supporting formal education continues to be our priority and at the forefront of our activities and projects. This year we provided safe school transport for an elementary school and it’s surrounding communities, alimentation and supplies for an early childhood education center, paid teacher’s salaries, sustained a special needs classroom and supported the advocacy work of educators, students and their families.

VOICES continues to play an active role in social-environment movements that affect our parter communities. As a member of the Movement of Victims Affected by Climate Change and Corporations (MOVIAC) we advocate for environmentally conscious legislation and civic participation. In March, El Salvador historically voted to ban mental mining; making it the first Latin American country to do so. Voices has also published many writings on subjects like that of the human Right to Water in El Salvador.

Morazán Women
Despite having it’s home taken away from them in Osicala earlier this year, the Citizen Network of Morazán Women continues to tirelessly fight for the rights, wellbeing and safety of rural women in northern Morazán. This year, VOICES was asked a second time to facilitate a series of workshops which also included a special trip to the MUPI in San Salvador. On International Women’s day, we marched with them  through the streets of Guatajiagua.

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Youth Leadership Development
Community Octavio Ortiz asked VOICES to facilitate a workshop series that would bring together the various youth groups in the community. This initiative was supervised by the youth committee of the community’s board of directors. The program, which was sponsored by South Bay Sanctuary Covenant (SBSC), included workshops, a cultural visit and financial support for their folklore and modern dance groups. Also, this year we partnered SBSC with the Youth Association of the Development of Morazán (AJUDEM), providing them with financial support for their youth led violence prevention program.

South Bay Sanctuary Covenant had two delegations this year. First in March, during the commemoration events of the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero and again in November to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their long-time parter community Padre Octavio Ortiz. In June, our staff joined our board of Directors for the annual meeting which was held on a beautiful lake in Maryland. In early November, several board members came to El Salvador and accompanied the base church community (CEB) of Ciudad Segundo Montes on their annual trip to Colomoncagua, Honduras.

Click to read our 2017 Impact Report.

We wish our Salvadoran Partners, our US Solidarity Groups and donors worldwide a safe and wonderful holiday season.

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Happy Indigenous People’s Day

Every October 9th, the United States of America honors Christopher Columbus, the Italian colonizer and slave trader, who began his conquests of land, people and cultures in 1942, with a federal holiday. This happens, annually, even though Columbus never set foot on the North American continent.

Of course, Indigenous People’s Day is also celebrated on the second Monday of October. A recent TIME article names the 55 US cities who are officially recognizing the first inhabitants of North America today. If you’re unable to celebrate you can always donate to say… Stand With Standing Rock!



San Salvador Office Robbed (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Due to an overwhelming outpour of support we have raised enough to replace the work computer. To all those who donated and/or shared: MUCHAS GRACIAS.

We have raised enoughWe are sad to report the theft of our Voices work laptop from the office we share in El Salvador with the SHARE Foundation. On September 21st, a thief gained access to the office and stole our Executive Director’s laptop as well as two cameras from SHARE employees.

We have set up an online fundraiser to replace our computer ASAP so that we can get back to work. SEE LINK.

Updated security measures have been taken, i.e. installing cameras, changing locks and changing all our account passwords and asking our Salvadoran partners to do the same. Theft is not uncommon in El Salvador; still we are not naive to the fact that this could have been a targeted attack to intimidate us because of the work we do or a deliberate attempt to obtain our information.

We will keep you informed of any updates and ask our supporters to help us fund the cost of a new laptop for Jose, and/or share the information if possible.

–  Copy of Police Report Denuncia a la Policía


MOVIAC Proposes to Create a Vice Ministry of Water

August 29, 2017

The Movement of Victims Affected by Climate Change and Corporations (MOVIAC) was present yesterday at the Legislative Assembly to submit an application to expedite the passage of the water law.

WhatsApp Image 2017-08-29 at 1.02.07 PM

The letter proposes the creation of a national entity run by civil society organizations,  the academic and private business sectors and state actors that work together to ensure the right to water is constitutional and upheld.

Below you can read the letter presented to the Legislative Assembly.