APRIL 2003

• Immigration and Naturalization Service

• The New York City Mayor's Office Of Immigrant Affairs and Language Services

• Citizenship NYC

• New York Immigration Hotline

• National Immigration Forum

• Genealogical Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area

• America Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Law Foundation

• Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force

• Glossary

Local: General

• Archdiocese of New York Immigrant and Refugee Services

• Citizens Committee For New York City

• Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Local: Specific

• Asian Americans for Equality

• Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

• CARECEN-N.Y.

• Chinese Progressive Association

• Emerald Isle Immigration Center of New York

• Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York

• National Association of Korean Americans

• National Coalition for Haitian Rights

 

 

Janet Núñez: A Hispanic Woman in the War
From El Diario
March 26, 2003

By Cristina Loboguerrero

The shadow of war hit us left, right, and center. It struck Hispanic families, who don’t feel the same passion about the war as other sectors of society, especially hard.

Take the case of Mercedes Salamanca, who found one of her loved ones, her daughter to be more exact, fighting for a cause that for many don’t think make sense.

Even more, Janet Núñez Salamance, thirty years old, had been asking for a less dangerous job, and one closer to her family, at the United Nations. She preferred to work offering help to orphans and other children in Haiti, and to returned to active service, only to be called up by the imminence of a conflict which has now shook the entire world.

Janet, as she is called by her family, enlisted in the Navy before she was even eighteen years old. Born in New York, to a Dominican father and a Columbian mother, the young woman knew she wanted to be in the armed forces since she was a child, according to her parents.

“She is in the war voluntarily, nobody made her go, my daughter could have gotten out of the Navy perfectly well, but she didn’t want to.

She had a good job at the United Nations as a bodyguard. Still, she preferred, since over a year and a half ago, to go work for human rights in Haiti, to help the orphans of that country,” remembers Mercedes.

During the first Gulf War, Núñez was assigned to a base in North Carolina, administering admission tests. She was also charged with sending troops into the area of combat. This is the first time that she has been in war herself. She was sent to Kuwait on the seventh of February.

Her mother last had communication with her last Tuesday [March 18th], when Janet called her on the telephone to assure her that she was okay, two days after a letter arrived which said that a friend had to be sent back to the United States because of health problems.

At the same time, according to her mother, “she informed me that everything was ready for the war, and that she didn’t know when she would be able to call me.”

Mercedes’ feelings are conflicted. On one side, there is the anguish of not knowing the destiny of her daughter, on the other is pride, because her daughter has always brought satisfaction to her family, sharing in the many honors that she has received.

Before traveling to Haiti, where she was married in September, Janet served in the security corps for the US ambassadors in Africa and Luxemburg.

At only five feet tall and ninety pounds, Janet holds the rank of Sergeant. Her stature, says her mother, is precisely the cause of her success. She says “she is so small in body, but so strong and large in her heart, and I am sure that this is the reason that she decided to go to war to aid her friends, defend her country and involve herself in the reconstruction that will be necessary after the end of the war.”

Mercedes spends most of her time in Jersey City; seated in front of the television screen, following closely the events and explaining that each time that she sees an image of an attack it makes her very nervous. To this she adds that she has to fight to keep herself calm – it’s been only twenty days since she’s had a delicate operation on her heart, from which she is still recuperating.

Translated From Spanish By Joshua Brustein

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