Support Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Mexicans Living in the United States

WHEREAS, the League of United Latin American Citizens is this nation’s oldest and largest Latino organization, founded in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 17, 1929; and

WHEREAS, LULAC throughout its history has committed itself to the principles that Latinos have equal access to opportunities in employment, education, housing and healthcare; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has the discretionary authority to immediately grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security by designating a country for TPS when he or she determines that "there is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to that conflict, return of nationals to that state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety."; and

WHEREAS, there is greater and more widespread violence in recent years in Mexico due, in part, to the brutality resulting from the current Mexican administration's war against drug cartels and the subsequent instability created therein; and

WHEREAS, violence in Mexico has increased significantly each year since 2004 in light of the following facts:
1. An estimated 38,000 homicides due to drug related violence have taken place, increasing to about 20% in 2009 over the previous year and the drug violence related deaths in 2010 are reported to exceed any of previous years.
2. Overall homicide rates have increased. In 2008, non-drug related deaths jumped from 8.2 per 100,000 inhabitants to 13.1 per 100,000.
3. Drug violence remains concentrated in a few states but other parts of the country have seen the significant spreading of violence in 2010. Levels of homicides have increased significantly in Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Michoacan, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Guerrero and the State of Mexico.
4. Drug violence has affected more people broadly and publicly than in the past as high profile victims, family parties, and drug rehabilitation centers are targeted. Contrary to the position of the government of Mexico, that this violence is only directed against individuals involved in organized crime, homicides and violence is impacting wider sectors of society. "Bystanders have been killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places."
5. Mexico holds first place worldwide in kidnappings with approximately 8000 reported each year. This does not take in to account the National Commission of Human Rights Commission of Mexico finding that more than 70% of kidnappings go unreported. Kidnapping has become a lucrative business in almost all of Mexico's large cities.
6. Armed street crime is a serious problem in all major cities, including resort cities. Criminal assaults have occurred on highways thought Mexico and even, while in heavy traffic or stopped in traffic. Robberies and assaults on passengers in taxis are frequent and violent in Mexico, with passengers subjected to beating, shooting and sexual assaults.
7. Extortion is widespread, even blocking major roads to large cities and to operate businesses throughout the country. Mexican drug cartels have diversified into running extortion and protection rackets expropriating profits from street vendors to car dealerships. Extortion is also practiced by police and law enforcement authorities. It is estimated that Mexicans returning to communities of origin during the Christmas holidays bring into Mexico about 3 billion dollars in spending and gifts while forcibly leaving 20 to 30 percent of this income in the hands of police, customs and other law enforcement officials; and

WHEREAS, Mexicans identified as living, or having lived in the United States, whether visiting or repatriated or deported, are at high risk of becoming victims of violent crime, facing daily, critical threats to their land their family's/ personal safety and security in a climate of terror and life-menacing conflict; and

WHEREAS, these temporary and extraordinary circumstances increase the imminent danger that Mexicans returning to Mexico constantly face; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to protect the personal safety of Mexicans in the United States from deportation given the current dangers that await them back in Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government has the means to provide Mexicans in this country the protection they need by honoring the US historic role as a safe haven for people at risk; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates of the 2011 LULAC State Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 2011 supports Mexican immigrant communities petitioning for Temporary Protected Status; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National League of United Latin American Citizens urge the Obama Administration to exercise its authority in the benefit of Mexican nationals by designating Mexico and Mexicans in the United States for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Approved this 1st day of July 2011.

Margaret Moran
LULAC National President