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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Canada Day of Action in support of Jose Figueroa and his family and all refugees impacted by Canada's overly broad terrorism law

  •  Canada wide We Are Jose events January 16, 2013

  • A campaign to reverse the deportation against 15 year, Langley, BC resident, José Figueroa and his family and in support of ALL refugees impacted by Canada's problematic terrorism laws.
    Events in Vancouver, Langley, BC; Toronto, and Ottawa, and various cities. (See event details and locations below )

    Vancouver event 2pm CIC offices. 300 West Georgia Street, Library square Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. Meet at Georgia and Hamilton.

    Langley, BC event: 3pm. Meet outside of Jose's Conservative MP Mark Warawa's office #104 4769 222nd Street, Langley
    Supporters will join with Jose and his family to deliver letters and petitions to the MP and then have a vigil outside of the office.

    Toronto: vigil at San Lorenzo Anglican Parish, 2981 Dufferin St. Time: 7PM Link to Toronto event fb page

    Ottawa: gathering at UMI cafe, 610 Somerset W, Ottawa,organized by ASCORCAN, Time: 7pm.

    (see this short documentary about the case! )

    About the campaign:

    Today, We Are Jose. José Figueroa could be any one of us. He has lived happily in his Langley, BC, community, just outside Vancouver, for over 15 years with his wife, Ivannia, and three Canadian children. As they built new lives after fleeing danger in El Salvador, they worked hard and became leading members of their local Lutheran church. Again, their story is ours.

    Then, out of the blue, José and his wife were told they were no longer welcome in Canada and were going to be deported.

    The reason? As a university student more than 20 years ago, José was a member of a peaceful student group associated with the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation, or FMLN, the broad coalition of opposition forces fighting the ruthless Salvadorean government of the time.

    Indeed, supporting the FMLN was the conscious and courageous choice of countless Salvadoreans trying to free themselves from the tyranny of a Salvadorean state that targeted with impunity priests, nuns, farmers, teachers, workers, professors, students, indeed, anyone opposed to its systematic human rights violations.

    And the international community recognized Salvadoreans’ right to defend themselves against oppression. The FMLN was widely acknowledged as a legitima and representative opposition organization and as a vital element to bringing democracy to El Salvador.

    After signing UN-sponsored peace accords with the Salvadorean government 21 years ago on the historic day of Jan 16, 1992 (peace accords that Canada explicitly supported), the FMLN went on to become a leading political party and won the presidency in 2009. The Canadian government recognized that election as free and fair and even sent a representative, then Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for the Americas and now Minister of the Environment, Peter Kent, to President Mauricio Funes’ inauguration.

    Still, Canadian border and immigration authorities consider José a threat to Canadian security because of his links to the current democratically elected and internationally recognized governing party of El Salvador, the FMLN. It simply doesn’t make sense. And we simply want our government to realize as much. Jose's case is not isolated and many more refugees and immigrants are at risk of being deported due to this problematic immigration policy.

    José, Ivannia, and their three Canadian children are no threats to Canada. On the contrary, they are exactly the kind of people who have built this great country. This deportation order has devastated their lives.

    Their fate lies in the hands of Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews and the Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney. Supporters of the WE ARE JOSE campaign demand that Minister Toews/Jason Kenney immediately intervene in Mr. Figueroa's case to reverse the deportation order against him and his family. We further demand that he ensure that the FMLN and its many supporters are no longer mischaracterized as threats by Canadian authorities.

    By this, the Canadian officials will honour the Salvadorean Peace Agreement signed 21 years ago, on January 16, 1992, and do what’s right.

    Facebook event link :
    Some ways to help:

    1.Attend one of the events listed above
    2. Write a letter of support to the Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, and Jose's Member of Parliment Mark Warawa, and also cc your Member of Parliment.
    3. Organize a vigil or rally in support
    4. Contact us to get added to the supporter list and if you'd like to help in any other ways.
    5. Sign the petition (for copies email us) 

    For more info:

    Tyee article by UBC prof Maxwell Cameron, about Jose's case

    a CBC report on The National, story about the case:

    Jose's TED X talk:

    For media enquiries please contact:
    Ottawa: Laura Avalos, Salvadorian Canadian Association of Ottawa, 819.319.0904
    Vancouver: Sasha Wood, We Are Jose committee, 604.540.2126, Email:

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