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We Are Jose: Vancouver

by Isaac Oommen

On 16 January 2013, a dozen people gathered outside the Citizenship and Immigration offices at 300 West Georgia St. in Vancouver to protest the ongoing process of deportation of Jose Figueroa.

The action was one of several nationwide demonstrations along the lines of We Are Jose, in solidarity with the Salvadoran immigrant and his family.

Jose lived in his Langley community, just outside Vancouver, for over 15 years with his wife, Ivannia, and three children born in Canada. 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 given was that 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 Salvadoran government of the time.

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