By Silvia Isabel Sop Poz
Hi, my name is Silvia. I'm 23, the oldest of 4 children born in the United States to our mother who left Guatemala 24 years ago due to unsafe conditions.
This past summer I twice traveled to DC from where we live in Houston—along with my mother, 16-year-old sister Perla, and 10-year-old brother Jose—to speak up about TPS, Temporary Protected Status.
TPS is an immigration program that protects people living in the U.S. from being forced to return to countries with unsafe and life-threatening conditions, allowing them to live and work here—free from the ongoing fear of deportation. But TPS has yet to be expanded for Central American countries like Guatemala, Nepal, and other countries that are unsafe for people to return.
Our mother (an SEIU Texas member) has always worked hard. She works two janitorial jobs, averaging 12-14 hour work days.
In exchange, my siblings can just focus on school. Perla is a senior in high school where her favorite subjects are chemistry, physics, and acting in the theater department. Jose, in the 5th grade, loves math and wants to become an engineer so he can invent! I've worked as a medical assistant for over two years now.
We're safe here in this country, and all we want is for all mothers like ours to be able to stay here with their families. Safe too. Free from fear.
In DC this past summer, Perla, Jose and I told our stories, asking the Biden Administration to grant TPS for all countries that qualify, like Guatemala. Watch Jose and me, just 35 seconds.
All we want is to keep families Together, Protected and Safe. That's what TPS means to us—and to so many U.S. citizen children and grandchildren.
Please help us spread our message. Thank you.