December 10th, is International Human Rights Day and a perfect opportunity to celebrate the LUPE members who achieved U.S. citizenship this year. Around 50 immigrant members of LUPE who have achieved citizenship will be celebrated Tuesday evening at LUPE’s San Juan office located on Business 83 and Cesar Chavez Rd. Guests from State Representative Armando Martinez’s office and immigration judge David Ayala will congratulate the new citizens on their achievement.
Martha Sanchez, Community Organizing Coordinator for La Union del Pueblo Entero, will underscore the importance of U.S. citizenship for exercising and protecting our Human Rights.
Commenting on human rights and citizenship, Martha Sanchez says, “Our human rights are fragile, especially when there is no participation, outside of voting and elections. For some of us, it is even harder to protect our human rights because of our lack of immigration status.”
Martha Sanchez is herself an immigrant who attained U.S. citizenship.
She continues, “U.S. citizenship gives us a vehicle to fully participate in our human rights and an opportunity to help protect the human rights of those who because of lack of immigration status are not fully represented.”
Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to take part in elections and government. It is the spirit of the Declaration that the voices of people who are often excluded should be heard and heeded, especially when we are marginalized or discriminated against because of race, religion, gender or even immigration status. Read Article 21 here.
The Citizenship Opportunity Program is just one benefit of our Programa Escalera, through which LUPE invests in the self-development of our members and the community. The program, free for LUPE members, also offers ESL and GED classes. Escalera goes beyond the basic needs of individuals to develop greater skills thereby allowing participants to improve their lives and their ability to respond to new opportunities.
It is our pleasure to recognize those members of LUPE that, through devotion and hard work, have achieved their citizenship and have made a deeper commitment to the United States as their home.