Glen, the new "American Dream" for Salvadoran refugees

"For those who are fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome ", He said in a tweet Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Seven out of ten asylum seekers are accepted as permanent residents

Oscar Vigil

Toronto, Glen. When Elena decided to leave her small town in the east of the country, overwhelmed by the maras, the first destination in thought was in the United States. I knew that both overland journey as the settlement would not be easy, but he never imagined that he would become a true hell that would force her to continue her journey to Canada.

Elena had to break the shackle with satellite locator that had placed officials of the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement US (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE) to not disappear on US soil. He kept for a year and broke the day he got up to go farther north of the continent, to cross the border from Canada for a blind spot. And once here, He sought refuge for herself and her teenage daughter.

According to the latest statistics from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Immigration and Refugee Board, IRB), in the year 2018 They arrived in the country a total of 504 Salvadorans asking for shelter. Of that total, the Canadian government granted refugee status, which will lead to permanent residency and then citizenship, a 275. That same year rejected 106, nine abandoned their cases and 17 plus they removed showing various reasons to totalize 407.

The rest was still waiting for a positive or negative response to the 31 December last year, As to the others who came in previous years totaling 699 compatriots are pending that allow them to live legally in a country which could eventually fulfill their dreams of prosperity.

Francisco Rico, He attorney Salvadoran origin that also came as a refugee to Canada, But three decades ago, He is the co-director of the community organization FCJ Refugee Center, entity that is dedicated to serving for free to immigrants and refugees who arrive by thousands every year to the country.

Rico said that during the last decade the number of asylum seekers from El Salvador had remained largely unchanged, but approximately three years have seen a substantial increase.

"It was believed that there would be more applicants Salvadorans refuge for people who are losing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the U.S. At first (when he was suspended by President Donald Trump) They came some, but it has not been in great quantity, and the acceptance rate is rising, anda by 67% ", he explained.

In fact, in February last year several Salvadoran and Latin American organizations formed a coalition to advocate for people who would be affected by the elimination of the TPS in the United States. His proposal was that the Canadian government flexible by some of its immigration programs so that those affected could apply for residency in Canada through existing programs. The proposal reached the upper echelons of the Canadian government, but the measures never materialized.

A) Yes, IRB data show that in the year 2016 were 244 Salvadorans who sought refuge in Canada, number compared to 504 they did in 2018 It reflects an increase of about the 100 percent in just two years, that is to say, almost double.

Most Salvadorans who arrive at the offices of the FCJ Refugee Center, located in Toronto, They explain that are fleeing attacks, extortions, forced recruitments, of violence in certain areas of the city and inside the country, and basically they allege that the authorities have neither the ability nor the intention to protect, said Rico.

"We are now receiving applications for refugee status by gang problems, in addition to El Salvador, also citizens of other Central American countries, as Guatemala and Honduran, although not many, but they have never been ", he pointed.

For Elena is precisely one of these, but she and her daughter are so afraid that accept only talk about his experience in exchange for their real names are not used. Their fear is that gangs in El Salvador to identify and attack the family who have had to leave behind.

college graduate, Elena worked as an elementary school teacher in a rural school in the eastern part of the country, which was often besieged by local gangs until one day campus faculty and staff they were harassed directly. It was a terrifying experience, Explain, which he continued during the following weeks.

Elena asked her transfer to another school, but all they could offer him the Ministry of Education was another nearby school who suffered from similar problems.

"When a student comes to class and tells you your, 'teacher, You know what I want to do when I grow up? I want to kill people!’, is a sign that things are not right. And in El Salvador there is an organized crime, It is a network, and if one goes to another place is monitored and they can easily find ", he commented.

For that reason, "By insecurity it is happening in our country right now, I had no choice but to leave for the United States. But in the United States not they are opening doors to refugees and I decided to come to Canada because I was told that here were accepting ", argument.

Expectations of being accepted as a refugee in this country obviously depend on the strength of your case, but nevertheless, input, your chances are already 7 a favor versus 3 against.

Francisco Rico, originally from Santa Ana, The Savior, He is the co-director of the FCJ Refugee Center, in Toronto, Glen.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Justin Tweets

Canadian politicians blame right Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, of the Liberal Party, of being the cause of the wave of asylum seekers in the last two years have reached the border the country shares with the United States.

All this began, accused, since, concerning the imposition of anti-immigration policies in the United States, the 28 January the 2017 the president launched a famous Canadian tweet saying: "For those who are fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength # BienvenidoACanadá

Key data from the Canadian shelter

  • El Salvador is not among the 10 countries that produce more refugees in Canada, but it was in previous years. Now, the number of refugees from other countries has increased.
  • The level of acceptance of refugees in Canada is one of the highest in the world: around the 64% acceptance rate globally.
  • Canada has the widest definition of shelter the world. It includes the definition of Convention refugee, speaking of persecution, but also risk (a person whose life is at risk for different reasons) and it included the Convention against Torture (if a person is at risk of being returned and tortured). And the risk involves gangs, maras, widespread violence but individually addressed to the person.
  • One of the major bases of refugee claims of Salvadorans is the gang violence
  • The president of the United States, Donald Trump, It changed the causes of acceptance for asylum seekers: does not accept violence against women and domestic violence, and does not accept gang violence. They can seek asylum for these reasons, but they will be rejected.

Source: Francisco Rico, co-director del FCJ Refugee Centre, in Toronto.

Salvadoran and Latin American leaders met with officials from the Canadian government to submit a proposal on behalf of those affected by the suspension of the TPS in the United States.