By Dennya Canales
TPS = Temporary Protected Status
But to me, TPS = Together, Protected, and Safe with Our Families
Hi, my name is Dennya. I'm 18 years old. My grandmother Perla, mi abuela, is an SEIU member, a janitor, and an immigrant from Honduras. I am the person I am today because of her.
I'm now in the middle of my second year of college at Towson University in Maryland. I’m the first in my family to get a secondary education. Mi abuela worked so hard to come to this country to find stability and safety for her family, escaping poverty and destruction after a hurricane killed thousands of people and destroyed her community.
I love her to bits, and I can’t imagine a life without her. We're very lucky because she has Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which protects people from the dangers they escaped and keeps families together.
But I know many families like mine aren’t as fortunate.
This past summer, instead of enjoying a break like most college students, I spent my summer in DC fighting to keep families like mine together. I know there are other abuelas out there, just like mine, who need TPS now.
I wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to support families like mine, and then this video, which you can also watch below, was created from it.
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As a union member, mi abuela knows the importance of solidarity and uniting for what’s right. Through her example and watching working people—autoworkers, actors, baristas, airport and fast-food workers—I've seen the power we have to win big change when we speak out together.
This past September, immigrant essential workers and their families (like mi abuela and me) gathered outside the White House to demand justice, and my video was displayed on a truck all around Capitol Hill.