TEDxVancouver is excited to announce that recently noted refugee and immigration activist Jose Figueroa will be speaking at today’s Tedx Vancouver event. Figueroa, who has been in Canada since 1997, was once a youth member of the University Student Union that was supportive of the FMLN political wing in El Salvador, which has recently been categorized as a “terrorist” organization. Fleeing El Salvador with his wife, Jose was a peaceful student having never taken part in any attacks or fighting between the guerrillas and oppressive government forces.
Recently many supporters of the Salvadoran refugee were outraged by a federal adjudicator’s ruling that he be deported because of his membership in what the government has only recently called a “terrorist organization”. This issue created a significant amount of media attention to not only Jose’s story, but to the larger themes surrounding his case, and those of many other innocent refugees in Canada. Among his public and most vocal supporters, noted UBC professor Jerry Spiegel, recently stated that the FMLN was emphatically not a terrorist group.
Jose’s talk will take a compelling look at the current stigmas of the “T” word and the dangerous paradox it has created within our current immigration system as the lives and admissibility of innocent refugees seeking immigration status in Canada are reviewed each year.
Current List Of Public Supporters of Jose Figueroa:
- Martin Sheen, Director, Actor and Human Rights Activist
- Christopher Ian Bennett, Former Leader, Green Party of BC and Human Rights Activist
- Maxwell Cameron, Professor of Political Science, University of British Colombia, BC
- Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment and former news journalist with Global Television
- Jamie Moffet, Director, Return to El Salvador (Documentary)
- Jerry Spiegel, Professor and Director of the Liu Institute for Global Studies, University of British Colombia
- Mark Warawa, Conservative Member of Parliament for Langley, BC
- Don Davies, NDP Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway, BC
- Peter Julian, NDP Member of Parliament for Burnaby-New Westminster, BC
- Sigfrido Reyes, Elected Member and President of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, FMLN