1986

Years of organizing pay off as the Los Angeles City Council declares Los Angeles a City of Refuge (“refugio”) for Central Americans fleeing torture and political persecution in their homelands. The ordinance reminds Los Angeles police of Special Order 40 (instituted on November 27, 1979) which bars police officers from operating as immigration agents to question and deport refugees.

Congress passes the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), also known as the 1986 amnesty. In the following two years a significant number of Central Americans apply for permanent residency/amnesty under IRCA.

CARECEN establishes earthquake relief committees to aid the thousands of earthquake victims of El Salvador’s October earthquake.

CARECEN joins the national campaign “Stop U.S. Bombing in El Salvador” Salvadoran refugees in L.A. denounce Salvadorans military operations that include the massacre of thousands of peasants in the Salvadoran countryside and the escalation of 500 lb. bombs being dropped on Salvadoran civilians.

Linda Wong becomes Chair of the Board.

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