Outreach project to boost vaccination among immigrants (February 10, 2021) CEUS will this month launch a program funded by the State of New Jersey to inform undocumented and other immigrants how and why they should get vaccinated. The project aims to contact 1,000 Union City area immigrants, and through them another 3,000 family members, to underscore the importance of getting vaccinated, and where they can do so. “Many immigrants may be wary of going to social service or government offices for a vaccination,” said CEUS Executive Director Blanca Molina. “And we want to help them understand that for their own benefit, and for the good of all of us, they should get vaccinated.”
CEUS is looking to hire a bilingual person to train as a Community Health Worker, and serve as the main outreach worker on the project. We are looking for an enthusiastic, committed individual who has shown an ability to work with immigrants and speaks fluent English and Spanish. If you re interested in the position, or know someone who is, read the full job description here.
CEUS distributes 120 turkeys to the community (December 19, 2020) CEUS volunteers distributed 120 turkeys donated by Shoprite to community members who are struggling to get by in amid the COVID 19 pandemic. Thanks to Shoprite for the donation and CEUS member Willy Luna, of LW Wood Floors, for transporting the turkeys.
Food distribution to make a happy Thanksgiving (November 25) CEUS volunteers handed out food packets to more than 100 immigrants the day before Thanksgiving to help tide them over the holiday period. Many immigrants are struggling to get by even more than in recent months as the pandemic worsens. CEUS thanks all the generous donors of food and money for the distribution. They included Goya Foods, Shoprite, Fiesta Supermarket, Trader Joe’s and CEUS supporters.
See the video here:
TPS legalization campaign bus comes to New Jersey (November 9) A brightly painted bus carrying 18 TPS-ianos from California to Washington D.C. visited New Jersey to promote the campaign to obtain residency for immigrants in the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. TPS-ianos face deportation when their permits expire next year. Centro Comunitario CEUS, working with the National TPS Alliance and other are immigrant groups organized a press conference in Newark and a Solidarity Walk in West New York, in CEUS’ home base of Hudson County. Read press accounts of the events: Univision; NorthJersey.com; Reporte Hispano; Hudson Reporter; Jersey Journal and Poder Latino.
Watch the video of the event here:
Aiding Immigrant Victims of the COVID-19 Pandemic (September 13) Centro Comunitario CEUS volunteers distributed more than 100 packages of rice, beans and other foods donated by Goya Foods to low-income immigrants, many of whom are unable to obtain government help due to their limited immigration status. As COVID-19 cases rise again in New Jersey, CEUS continues to help severely affected immigrants with food, financial and legal assistance. CEUS in June and July distributed more than $150,000 in donations to about 180 immigrants in a project funded by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. An CEUS online fundraising campaign mounted by CEUS in recent months paid for the distribution to area immigrants of certificates usable to buy groceries at area supermarkets.
Check out the video of the September 13 distribution here:
CEUS ramps up push for residency for TPS recipients (September 27) Centro Comunitario CEUS and immigrants in the TPS program are stepping up the campaign to push for residency for TPS recipients when their work permits in expire in January. Activists mounted a rally outside the Newark office of Senator Robert Menendez to demand that Congress pass a law that would provide immigrants in the program cancelled by president trump with a path to residency.See the video here.
May 4 ~ CEUS launches COVID-19 fundraising campaign Centro Comunitario CEUS is facing severe financial difficulties due to the impact of the pandemic. In response, the organization is running an online campaign to raise funds to help CEUS continue working for the community. Some of the funds will also go to provide food and other direct aid to immigrants in the community who are suffering in the pandemic. Please go to our campaign website here to learn more about the campaign. And please consider making a donation!.
November 21 ~ Supporters celebrate 25 years of CEUS helping immigrants More than 230 people gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Centro Comunitario CEUS at a gala that honored five people who have served the immigrant community. The gala, on Nov. 21 at the Fiesta in Wood-Ridge, honored Oscar Chacon, co-founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, a Chicago-based network of organizations serving the Latin American community; Esther Chavez, an activist for the Salvadoran community; Ingrid Echeverria, an immigration lawyer; Marilyn “Mimi” Levy, a volunteer immigration lawyer at CEUS, and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which provides legal and social services to unaccompanied immigrant children. “This was a wonderful demonstration of the importance of CEUS and its work, and also our ability to organize and inspire people,” said Blanca Molina, executive director and co-founder of Centro Comunitario CEUS. The gala also featured dancing by Baile Cuscatlan and music by guitarist Edgar Gonzalez.
Read a report on the CEUS 25th Anniversary gala in the Poder Latino newspaper here.
August 28 ~ CEUS Celebrates 25th Anniversary Centro Comunitario CEUS will celebrate 25 years of serving the Hispanic immigrant community with a gala on Nov. 21, 2019 at The Fiesta in Wood-Ridge, NJ. Come and celebrate with us and enjoy good food, drink and good company, and support CEUS at the same time. Save the date! See the Save The Date card here.
April 7 ~ New CEUS Board of Directors Elected Centro Comunitario CEUS members picked a new nine-member board of directors in the election held every two years. The nine members of the new board are: Nicole Miller, Catherine Angus, Agustin Pacheco, Rosalina Miranda, Jusselia Molina, Christopher Amat, Yesenia Argueta, Victoria Hernandez and Leyda Flores. Current president Blanca Molina decided not to stand for election, and the next board will be the first in the 25 year history of CEUS that will not include Blanca. She will continue as the CEUS Executive Director. Thirty-four members of the CEUS Membership Program cast votes in the election during a three-hour meeting at the CEUS office. The election was overseen by attorney and long-time CEUS supporter Ingrid Echeverria, who at the end of the meeting made a donation of $2,500 to CEUS. See photos of the election here: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5.
Mar. 24 ~ CEUS is seeking staff immigration attorney Centro Comunitario CEUS is looking for an experienced, passionate, capable and energetic attorney with a demonstrated commitment to immigrants’ rights and social justice to work four days a week with the immigrant community in Hudson County and throughout New Jersey. Read full job description here. Qualified candidates should submit cover letter, resume and references via email to Blanca Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan. 19 ~ CEUS TPS bus heading for Washington DC Centro Comunitario CEUS will send a bus with community members in the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to demand Congress halt the cancelation of the program by President Trump. Thirty TPS holders attended a meeting Jan. 19 at the CEUS office to plan for the trip CEUS hosted the TPS Caravan traveling from California to Washington D.C. in October with a dinner, discussion and live music. See photos here.
How will the end of TPS for Salvadorans affect them? Elba Pereira was brought to tears just thinking about having to leave the United States after 20 years. Her 11-year-old daughter was born here and hasn’t known life anywhere else.“It’s hard for me to think about being separated from my daughter, but I will not take her to El Salvador,” she said.She says she doesn’t want to expose her child to the crime and danger in the country.“Three years ago, I went to El Salvador and when I was there, they killed my brother-in-law, when she was there,” Pereira said, adding her sister was left alone with four daughters. For the full interview, click HERE.
Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status nervously await Trump’s decision
Dinora Galdamez Martinez of Wallington came to the United States with her 3-year-old son in 2000, reuniting with her husband after fleeing dangerous conditions in the aftermath of a bloody civil war in El Salvador.
The following year, after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook her native country and triggered devastating landslides, killing more than 900, Galdamez Martinez qualified for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, an immigration program that allowed her to remain in New Jersey and work here legally until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security determines that it is safe for her to return home. For the full interview, click HERE.
Full house in the new semester of classes (Sept. 25) More than 60 students attended the first day of class in the CEUS Education Program, taking English and Spanish literacy classes. More students are expected to sign up for the classes, which run through the beginning of December. The program offers Level 1, 2, 3, and 4, and a conversation class, in English and two levels of Spanish. Students enjoyed tasy food in the cafeteria made by volunteers. Thanks to all the teachers and volunteers who make the program happen. See photos here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Spanish TV news bulletin focuses on CEUS programs (Sept. 21) Univision 41, one of two main Spanish channels in the New York area, visited the offices of Centro Comunitario CEUS to film a segment for its eaerly evening news program. The segment focused on CEUS’ work in the community, especially the Spanish literacy and ESL classes, and the legal services program that provides low cost immigration legal services for immigrants. See the clip here.
TPS assistance provided to Salvadorans, Hondurans in new extension (July 10) CEUS has begun providing legal assistance for immigrants eligible to renew their work permits under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. As in past years, we expect to help several hundred people to extend their permits, with each case reviewed by our attorney. The CEUS office will be attending TPS cases on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The final deadline for filing a TPS case is Sept. 6. For more information call: (201) 617-2466.
Graduation celebration in the Spanish literacy program (July 24) The CEUS Education Program had a strong Spring semester with more than 70 English students attending classes and at least 20 in the Spanish literacy program, for native Spanish speakers who did not have the opportunity at home to learn to read and write in their native language. We took the opportunity to celebrate the great achivement of the Spanish literacy students who completed the semester with a small party. All students were presented with certificates of achievement. We salute their courage in taking such a challenging step and their commitment to their studies. See photos of the event here:1, 2, 3, 4.