Jose’s Story

We Are Jose is a Canadian campaign to reverse the deportation order on Jose Figueroa. We are asking the Canadian government to respond on January 16, 2013 in honour of the end of the Salvadoran Civil War.

We are ordinary citizens who believe that Jose is just as Canadian as any one of us, and we want Canada to hear his story.

Jose Figueroa is a Salvadoran-Canadian living in Langley, B.C. He’s a loving father of three and a productive member of the community. He has lived in Canada for 15 years.

He applied to Canada because he faced danger, having stood up against a repressive military dictatorship during a violent civil war in El Salvador. Canada accepted him on these grounds, but 13 years later, the government wants to deport him for the same reason because of a mistaken view of who Jose is and the politics of El Salvador.

Twenty years ago, Jose was a student organizer for the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)—an organization that opposed the military dictatorship. After the civil war ended in 1992, the FMLN became a political party and is the current government of El Salvador.

Due to some overly broad legislation, Canada has mistakenly labeled the FMLN as a terrorist organization, and Jose by extension as a terrorist—when he stood up for human rights against a military dictatorship that used death squads against any opposition.

Jose and his wife have settled down in during the past 15 years, and have three Canadian born children, including an autistic son. His children have lived in Canada all their lives, and it would be a tragedy to uproot him and his family just because the government doesn’t understand his story.

We are asking all Canadians to help us reverse the deportation order. Help us get a response from the Canadian government on January 16, 2013 in honour of the end of the Salvadoran Civil War. Visit the “Tell Your Story” section for the ways that you can support Jose.

To learn more, please visit the tabs “Canada” and “El Salvador” found above, and visit the following websites:


We Are Jose videos

We are Jose Tour in Toronto

We are Jose Tour / Ontario-


March 25 – Arrives in Toronto, Greyhound Bus Terminal (6pm)

March 25- Un Canto a Romero, Yorkwoods Theatre, 1785 Finch Avenue West (7 PM)

March 26 – Asalca (Salvadorean Canadian Association) Party
Evento Cultural en Memoria a Monseñor Oscar Romero
Lithuanian Banquet Hall, 1573 Bloor Street West
(7:30 pm)

March 27 – Monseñor Romero commemoration with Jose as guest (12pm), Media event (2:30pm), forum (3pm) followed by a screening of Quien Mato a Monseñor Romero (Who Murdered Monseñor Romero)-San Lorenzo Church, ‎22 Wenderly Drive (Dufferin and one light south of Lawrence avenue West), Toronto

March 30 – Guelph community gathering – Van Gough’s Ear, 10 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON N1H

March 31 – London Students SURLA event (10am) and Latin American-Canadian Solidarity Association (LACASA) London Event (6pm)

April 1 – Montreal

Petition for Jose Figureroa


Solidarity Tour to reverse the deportation of Jose Figueroa, goes cross Canada from Vancouver to Montreal and ending in Ottawa
WE ARE JOSE is a Solidarity campaign to reverse the order of deportation of Jose Figueroa, who for humanitarian reasons had to leave El Salvador because of his struggle against the repressive military dictatorship, during the armed conflict.

The Canadian state, recognized for its respect and promotion of Human Rights, welcomed José into Canada to safeguard his life. Now however, surprisingly after 13 years, the Canadian government wants to deport him for the same reason they took him in, contrary to international norms and Canadian laws.

José, his wife and his three children, one with autism, have lived in Langley, BC, for the past 13 years. Their children are Canadian citizens and have lived their whole life in Canada; it would be a tragedy for them to be taken from their family and their country just because the government does not understand their history.
We believe that the Canadian government has taken a wrong position due to an inaccurate view of who Jose is, and of the current policy of El Salvador. We are ordinary citizens who believe that Jose is as Canadian as any of us, and we call upon the Canadian government to rectify this injustice.
WE ARE JOSE TOUR,  began on March 18th visiting towns by bus along the way: Vancouver, Kamloops, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, and finally Ottawa. These stops are for reference only, if there is the possibility of organizing a Teach In or just a community meeting to hear directly from Jose about what the reason is for the WE ARE JOSE TOUR, please do not hesitate to contact us through the following e-mail address:
Finally arriving in Ottawa, Jose Figueroa will try to deliver a petition, with over 15oo signatures from supporters, to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to rectify this injustice
We call upon all groups of Canadian Civil Society, Latino Community, Trade Unions, Students, Universities, Academics, Churches, NGOs and all who wish to support this noble cause, which far from being a struggle of a single migrant, is a struggle for all migrants, Canadians and non-Canadians!
We specifically need the following support:

Jose and his son arrived in TO March 25. See this link for schedule of TO area events Jose will participate in 

To help support the trip and also Jose’s family while he is away-Donations can be sent to the Walnut Grove Luthern Church C/O Jose Figueroa Address: 20530 88 Ave. Langley, BC V1M 2Y6 .

See tour in the news:

Also see link for more info:!/note.php?note_id=190977924268615
And all forms and expressions that help in the promotion and dissemination of the Campaign JOSE ARE WE TOUR.

We appreciate your solidarity, suggestions and ideas are welcome!

Ottawa: Laura Avalos, Asociación Salvadoreña
Canadiense de Ottawa – 819 319 0904
Toronto: Sofia Ramirez, Barrio Nuevo – 416 433 9069
Vancouver: Sasha Wood – 604 540 2126

January 16th We Are Jose Events Across Canada, join in!



A Canadian campaign to reverse the deportation order against José Figueroa

People from all walks of life and community-based organizations are joining forces to reverse the deportation order against José Figueroa and his family and are making a call to all to join the WE ARE JOSE campaign. Several initiatives are being organized for the WE ARE JOSE Campaign held across several Canadians cities on January 16th, 2011.

WE ARE JOSE supporters believe that the Canadian government’s decision to deport José is a mistake and that this error impacts not only Jose and his family but also puts many Canadians of Salvadorean origin at risk of deportation. The campaign requests that the Canadian government, in particular the Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, respond to the demand to grant José an exemption by January 16th declaring him no threat to national security, in honour of the Salvadorean Peace Agreement and as a reminder to Canadians that our country played a key role in putting an end to El Salvador’s bloody 12-year civil war.

Join the WE ARE JOSE National Day of support, Jan. 16 2011

In Ottawa, ON:

Vigil at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin St. (at Lisgar), 4:30pm
Bring candles, lanterns and banners. Guest speakers & artists!

In Langley, BC:
Vigil at Walnut Grove Luthern Church, 6:00 pm
20530 88th Avenue, Langley, BC V1M 2Y6                                                                   Bring candles. Guest speakers and music!

In Toronto, ON:

San Lorenzo Church, 22 Wenderly Drive Toronto, ON Sunday, January 16 · 1:30pm – 2:30pm. The vigil will take place after the regular noon mass at San Lorenzo.

For more information please contact :

Or you may contact Ottawa: Laura Avalos, Salvadorian Canadian Association of Ottawa, 819.319.0904; Vancouver: Sasha Wood, 604.540-2126, Langley, B.C., Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, 20530-88 Avenue, Langley

Jose Figueroa in the News

CTV-Community Rallies to Keep Jose Figueroa in BC
CTV-Refugee Claimant ordered out after living in Canada for years
Langley father of three in final fight to stay in Canada
Montreal Gazette -Director, actor Martin Sheen, add voices against deportation
CTV-Support Floods in from Across Canada for Figueroa
CTV -Deportees Autistic son pleads for intervention
CBC-The National coverage of Jose Figueroa
Langley Times, September 28th: Langley father of three in final fight to stay in Canada
CBC news article

SFU Documentary about Jose’s case

Documentary: The Jose Figueroa Story

SFU students Kevin Church and Sashar Hosseinnia created a 20 minute documentary about Jose’s case.

It is incredibly informative and covers the history of the Salvadoran Civil War, and how the FMLN had become wrongfully associated with “terrorism” because of the overly broad anti-terrorism legislation that came into effect in 2001.

We Are Jose Supporter Videos