200 N. Chatham Ave. Siler City, NC 27344     919-742-1448

Month: October 2017

A great day at Fiesta 2017!

The 5th Annual Hispanic Heritage Fiesta was a huge success and our biggest one yet!  Over 600 diverse participants enjoyed a sunny and warm Saturday afternoon of live music, traditional dances, delicious food, an art exhibit, Health Fair, and kids’ activities.

This year, we closed two blocks of downtown Siler City and held our first parade of traditional Latin American outfits! The parade was led by the amazing giant puppets of Folkloric Group Flor y Canto, followed by adults and children dressed in traditional clothing, and closed by the stunning indigenous dance group Azteca Tonathzin. They paraded down Chatham Avenue toward the stage at the Courtyard Café.

         

          

More photos and videos on our Facebook page

We hosted 42 information booths from non-profits, governmental agencies, businesses and craft vendors. Other new activities included Niñolandia, a tent for kids’ activities, and a Health Fair with 10 information booths from health service providers.

Folkloric dances were performed by three extraordinary dance groups – the young children and teens of Magetsi 4H Club of Sanford, teens and adults from Takiri Folclor Latino of Durham, and the indigenous dance group Azteca Tonathzin of Raleigh. There were also three musical groups – the talented and long-time friends of El Vínculo, Folkloric Group Flor y Canto from Raleigh, the soulful Alberto Zárraga from Raleigh, and Ancestor Piratas, led by Peruvian born singer, composer and artist Renzo Ortega of Carrboro. Renzo also displayed his paintings in the Arts Incubator gallery.

Fiesta was only possible thanks to the generous support of 35 sponsors and over 50 volunteers! A special thanks to the Courtyard Café, Siler City Arts Incubator, Downtown Music Series and the Town of Siler City for all their help. A huge thanks to our Fiesta Organizing Committee, which included community members and representatives from CCCC, CIS, Chatham Health Department and FVRC. A shout out to Elena Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Estrada for selling churros and popcorn to raise funds for El Vínculo. We could not have done it without all of you!

Our raffle was also a bit hit and the 4 winners were thrilled with their prizes – the first prize of $200 in cash went to a 12-year old Latinx boy from Siler City, a deliciously large chocoflan cake by Chef Elena Gonzalez was won by Karen Howard of Siler City, 4 day-passes to Shakori Hills Music Festival went to Brooke Simmons, and a $30 gift certificate to Los Compadres Restaurant was awarded to a Siler City resident.

Mil gracias to all!

Many thanks to our generous VIP Sponsors!

        

 

                      

 

    

DACA Update

On September 5, President Trump announced the termination of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). This temporary relief was implemented in 2012 by President Obama, and granted work authorization and relief from deportation in 2-year increments for youth who were brought to the United States by their parents, passed a background check and paid a fee. DACA does not offer a path to full legalization or citizenship.

According to the NC Justice Center, there are “approximately 1.5 million individuals enrolled in the program (across the nation). In North Carolina, there are currently 49,712 DACA recipients”.  This decision has led to a profound instability in the lives of these youth and their families. The Trump administration is leaving it up to Congress to pass legislation for undocumented immigrants that benefited from DACA. Communities have begun to organize as the six-month deadline approaches and the congressional action becomes more urgent. Advocates are encouraging a clean DREAM Act ~ HB3440 (in the House) and SB 1615 (in the Senate), reintroduced by Senators Graham and Durbin.

The window of opportunity for DACA renewal was incredibly narrow ~ only those whose DACA expired between 9/5/17 and 3/5/18, giving them only until 10/5 to submit their renewal applications.  Of the 154,234 DACA beneficiaries whose benefits expire before next March, at least 36,000 did not submit their renewal applications. The reasons are fully clear, but may include fear of what USCIS could do with their information, inability to pay the $495 renewal fee, or because they could not find help in time to complete their application.

The Hispanic Liaison, along with many other non-profit and legal organizations across the state scrambled to help DACA youth. In late September and early October, free legal clinics were held across the state, and national and local donors established scholarship funds for the $495 renewal fee. Several area donors helped The Liaison create a modest scholarship fund. Sadly, the ability of organizations to mobilize came too late. Many eligible applicants had already submitted their application weeks before the free clinics were held.  We are hopeful that there may be a new window of opportunity for DACA youth and are setting aside the donations to our scholarship funds for that purpose.

We started a support and action group for directly impacted individuals and/or DACA recipients. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Emilio Vicente, Adult Leadership Program Manager.
Click here for a policy brief on DACA from the NC Justice Center.
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