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“A model for how to proceed in protecting long-term immigrants” as U.S. redesignates TPS for Ukraine and Sudan

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Washington, DC – Today, the United States government officially announced that it was redesignating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals from Sudan and Ukraine. This is not simply an extension of the existing program, but a redesignation, which means that people who arrived since the original designation can apply. If they qualify, TPS gives immigrants temporary protection from deportation and employment authorization, allowing them to work legally to support themselves and family, both here and “back home.” 

The following is a statement by Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director for America’s Voice:

“We commend the Biden administration and Secretary Mayorkas for taking this important step to protect migrants from Ukraine and Sudan by extending Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to them. It would be unconscionable to deport someone back to Sudan or Ukraine at this time and against our interests as a country, so this is the right decision to make.

This action can also be a model for how to proceed in protecting long-term immigrants who are deeply rooted in American communities. Congress has failed to modernize our immigration system for decades and an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live and work here, but cannot do so legally. Using the powers granted to the executive by Congress to protect the nationals of many other nations in conflict via TPS would have two clear and immediate benefits: It would help the U.S. economy by uncapping the economic contributions of immigrants granted TPS and secondly, would allow more migrants to send money home through remittances, thereby helping stabilize the countries they came from. 

President Biden has the power under current statute to examine and redesignate – or designate for the first time – countries where returning deportees is not in the U.S.’ national interest. He should use this power wisely and generously to benefit U.S. foreign and domestic policy. ”