At Meeting with Central American Community Leaders, Governor Newsom Announces Fact-Finding Mission to El Salvador

Governor will travel to El Salvador in early April and meet with leaders to learn about root causes of migration and lift up the deep ties between California and Salvadoran communities

Governor’s first legislation signed into law, AB 72, provided $5 million to help support a migrant shelter that is now open in San Diego 

Governor also announced the future opening of a Los Angeles field office

LOS ANGELES – Governor Gavin Newsom today hosted a roundtable with Central American community leaders in Los Angeles to examine the root causes of migration and discuss California’s efforts to provide relief and humanitarian aid to asylum seekers fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries. At the roundtable, the Governor announced his first international fact-finding mission to the Republic of El Salvador in early April.

“While the Trump Administration demonizes those who are fleeing violence from Central America, California is committed to lifting up our immigrant communities and understanding the root causes of migration,” said Governor Newsom. “I am looking forward to traveling to El Salvador in April to talk with the nation’s leaders and activists while deepening the bond between our families and communities.”

Governor Newsom met with State Senator María Elena Durazo, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo and representatives from the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF), The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) at Clinica Monsenor Oscar Romero today. Participants discussed the challenges facing families in the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The Trump Administration has relentlessly vilified those who legally come to our border fleeing violence and oppression. The Trump Administration has made a concerted effort to block Central Americans from accessing the U.S. asylum system, separating families and fanning the flames of xenophobia.

In his first weeks in office, Governor Newsom signed AB 72, legislation to fast-track state aid to asylum seekers who were abandoned by the federal government. It was the first bill he signed into law. AB 72 established a Rapid Response Relief Fund of $5 million in immigration assistance, which helped support the opening of a migrant support shelter.

The nearly 1.4 million immigrants from El Salvador, representing one-fifth of its population, account for the second-largest Latin American group in the United States, after Mexicans. Nearly half — approximately 680,000 Salvadorans — live in California. They make up the largest population of Salvadorans in any U.S. state. El Salvador’s rate of people driven from their homes due to violence and conflict — 3,600 out of every 100,000 inhabitants — is second only to Syria.

California is home to the most Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from El Salvador — 49,100 people, according to a 2017 report from the Center for Migration Studies.

In 2016, El Salvador was the second leading country of nationality, next to China, for persons granted defensive asylum in the United States.

The Governor also announced his plans to open a regional field office in Los Angeles, which is slated to open this summer. It is part of his broader push to bring state government closer to the people it serves. He will be announcing other offices in the coming weeks.