SDIRC Statement on Extension of TPS for Haitian Earthquake Survivors

SAN DIEGO, CA —  In a cruel and inhumane decision, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will extend by six months the Temporary Protected Status (TPS)  granted to Haitians who survived the 2010 Haitian earthquake. During this extension, they are expected to prepare to be deported to a country still devastated by natural disasters.

There are an estimated 58,000 Haitians with TPS living in the United States, including about 100 in San Diego. These earthquake survivors have lived, worked, and gone to school in the United States while their country is being rebuilt. However, they are now one step closer to being deported to a country ill-prepared to receive them.

Pastor Jean Elise Durandisse, with the Christ United Methodist Church and a member of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, released the following statement:

“We are heartbroken by the decision to extend this program for only six months, as opposed to the 18-24 months we have been requesting. Families are in fear because of this uncertain future. We need to continue to show compassion to the victims of natural disasters, and treat them the same way we would like to be treated if we were in their place. TPS is part of our commitment as a nation to support them in their time of need. There are many Americans that stepped up to support these survivors by opening their doors and their hearts, and living by the biblical verse ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.’ We will continue to pray that God will touch their hearts so that TPS can be extended further and our families can remain together.”

Laura Moreno, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, released the following statement:

“San Diego is a thriving and diverse city thanks in part to the contributions of immigrants and refugees who call this place home. We must wear our tried-and-true American values on our sleeves by continuing to support these natural disaster survivors, and we can do that by extending TPS for 18 to 24 months. On September 16, 2016, then-candidate Trump went to “Little Haiti” in Miami, Florida and told Haitians that “Haiti is still suffering very badly” and pledged to be their “greatest champion.” This is an opportunity for President Trump to fulfill his campaign promise by extending a program that has given earthquake survivors the dignity of work and safety while conditions in their country improve. Haiti is still in no condition to receive an estimated 58,000 people.”

About San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is a project of Alliance San Diego. Since 2007, community, faith, labor, and legal organizations have come together as the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC). Through SDIRC, these organizations are pursuing four common goals: support comprehensive immigration reform; stop the spread of local policies and practices that target and violate the civil and human rights of immigrants; educate immigrants; and educate the public about the important contributions of immigrants. More at:



SDIRC Interviews Said Abiyow at the 21th Annual Immigrant Day in Sacramento

El pueblo unido, Jamas será vencido! Ang tao ang bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban! The people united, will never be defeated!

May 15th, 2017 was the 21st Annual Immigrant Day. The SDIRC delegation of 33 San Diego leaders successfully met with all 11 assembly members and senators who represent a piece or region of San Diego County.

The day was kicked off with a rally and program of speakers to ground all participating organizations and individuals for the day ahead. There was a variety of speakers from all over the state who stood in front of the hundreds to speak their truth. The speakers ranged from faith leaders, community leaders and organizational representatives who shared stories, either their own or of the communities they work with. They spoke about the importance of building and maintaining a united front on the issues that affect all of us, especially considering the targeted threats under the Trump administration.

During our time at the state’s capitol, we had the opportunity to get to know, learn from and interview Said Abiyow, current President and CEO of the Somali Bantu Association of America, now a member organization of SDIRC. Below are his responses and impressions as a first time participant in Immigrant Day.

Immigrant Day: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future

By Erin Tsurumoto Grassi

As the granddaughter of Japanese Americans who were imprisoned during World War II, the importance of Immigrant Day could not be clearer. After all, this is a chance for advocates like myself and others across the state to join efforts and advocate for immigrant rights in Sacramento.

The 21st Annual Immigrant Day will take place on Monday, May 15, and the  San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is proud to be sending a record-size delegation to our state’s capital. Close to 40 leaders from across San Diego County will join hundreds of other community members and activists who will meet with elected representatives from every quarter of the county.

Record-Size Delegation Travels to Sacramento for Immigrant Day

Dozens of community members and advocates from San Diego will meet with the county’s state elected officials

SAN DIEGO, CA –The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) is proud to send a record-size delegation to our state’s capital on Monday, May 15, for the 21st Annual Immigrant Day, a day of action that brings together advocates from across the state to fight for immigrant rights.

Close to 40 leaders from across San Diego County will join hundreds of other community members and activists. They will meet with elected representatives from every quarter of the county to advocate for policies that protect immigrant communities from a Federal administration that seeks to criminalize, deport and separate families.

SDIRC Statement on State Senate Voting to Advance the ‘California Values Act’

SAN DIEGO, CA – Today, the California State Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 54, also known as the “California Values Act.” This bill will help keep communities safe for everyone by ensuring that local and state resources do not go towards deportations. This will help make certain that local and state law enforcement are able to focus on protecting communities, not enforcing immigration law.  

The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium Advisory Board issued the following statement:

“The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium applauds the State Senate for passing Senate Bill 54, the “California Values Act.” We are grateful to our local delegation, including State Sen. Toni Atkins, who is a co-author on the bill, for standing with immigrant communities. The “California Values Act” is critical to protecting immigrant families in our region and beyond, and we hope that the Assembly will now recognize the importance and urgent need for this bill and act accordingly to move it forward.”