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Immigrant Advocates Denounce Decision to End Temporary Protected Status for 200k Salvadorans; Call on Congress to Act Immediately

 

Statements Released in Response to DHS Decision This Morning

A number of immigration advocates and groups have condemned the Trump Administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 200k Salvadorans.

A compilation of statements is available below:

UnidosUS: Upending the Lives of TPS Holders from El Salvador is Not the Path Forward:

These individuals are taxpayers and employers. They are homeowners, good neighbors and parents of American children. Yet, despite a chorus of opposition from elected officials and business, religious, civil rights and community leaders around the nation and around the globe, the Department of Homeland Security has moved forward with a decision that does nothing more than harm our country, our allies, and endanger the lives of individuals who are making measurable contributions to this country,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.

SEIU’s Rocio Sáenz: Tragic TPS decision will cause pain for good people, make our nation poorer:

The decision to require nearly 200,000 lawfully present Salvadorans to leave the U.S. by September 9, 2019 is consistent with the pattern set by the Trump administration over the last year. The President and his administration rarely miss an opportunity to cause misery for immigrants, people of color, or working people.

Alianza Americas: The US has yet again turned its back on its promise to provide refuge” with today’s decision on TPS for El Salvador:

The United States has yet again turned its back on its promise to provide refuge for those who face violence and persecution in their home countries. Today, in one of her first acts as the new head of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Nielsen has told 200,000 of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues—people who sought safety in the United States and have had full permission to build lives here for nearly 17 years—that they have 18 months to pack their bags and return to El Salvador, a country that is plagued by the highest homicide rate in Latin America, a 95 percent impunity rate, and escalating human rights abuses.

APALA Blasts Ending of TPS for Salvadorans:

We are disgusted by the administration’s decision to uproot hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans who have created and built lives here in the U.S. Trump’s cruel mass deportation agenda continues to elevate a xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-worker agenda nationwide and has severe consequences on the moral fabric of who we are as a country. We urge Congress to find a permanent legislative solution to stop the tearing apart of working families for all TPS holders and for all undocumented immigrants who continue to bring invaluable contributions to our economy and to our communities.

United We Dream: Trump To Force Out Over 250,000 Immigrants from El Salvador, Some Have Lived in the U.S. for Nearly Two Decades

Adrian Reyna, Director of Membership at United We Dream and potential beneficiary of the Dream Act sai:

We are angry and devastated at Trump’s decision to end TPS protections for our brothers and sisters from El Salvador and we urgently call on Congress to pass legislation, which would give permanent protections to TPS families and holders.

It is clear to us that this administration’s immigration policy is lead by a single racist goal: the expulsion of millions of people of color from this country. With their decision to end TPS for yet another group of immigrants, to kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to throw roadblocks in front of  the Dream Act, it’s clear that the only thing Trump and his anti-immigrant advisors want is to break up families and push immigrants into the shadows, into detention camps and out of the country.

American Immigration Council: Trump Administration Ends 17-Year Protections for Salvadorans Who Face Uncertain Future

The following is a quote from Royce Bernstein Murray, Policy Director of the American Immigration Council:

Ending TPS for El Salvador is a tragic decision. It’s devastating for the 200,000 people who have lived and worked here legally for nearly 20 years, as well as their families, their employers, and their communities. Conditions in El Salvador continue to place people’s lives in grave danger.

Who gains when we take away lawful status from hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have lived here, paid taxes, and registered with the government for nearly 20 years? TPS holders have provided their personal information, undergone background checks, and in 18 months will lose their ability to work lawfully and support their families. Since the administration won’t protect them, Congress must seize this moment to provide a legislative fix.

Center for American Progress: Congress Must Respond as Administration Takes Another Step to Expel Hundreds of Thousands of Lawful Immigrants, say CAP’s Immigration and National Security Experts

Tom Jawetz, vice president for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

Even as Congress works to address the unnecessary crisis created by the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA and deport nearly 800,000 Dreamers, the administration today decided to expel approximately 200,000 Salvadoran TPS holders who have lived and worked lawfully in the United States for nearly 17 years. The anti-immigrant fervor driving the administration’s decisions are creating chaos for hundreds of thousands of families, including the 192,000 U.S. citizen children of these TPS holders who soon may see their families ripped apart. As with Dreamers, bipartisan legislation already exists in Congress to clean up the administration’s mess. It now falls to Congress to save our communities and prevent our economy from being unnecessarily disrupted by today’s cruel and reckless move.

We Belong Together: Trump Administration Continues Rampage Against Immigrant Women and Families

Today, the number of people affected by Trump’s decision to end TPS programs one-by-one increases to over 250,000 immigrants from four countries (El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan and Haiti) who came here after fleeing devastating natural disasters or violent conflicts in order to save their lives. This decision also sends a terrifying message to those from the remaining six countries who currently still have TPS but could lose it as soon as Trump has a chance to terminate their protections too.

Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

This is the fourth TPS termination in just four months. Given the dire conditions in El Salvador, which the U.S. State Department has warned Americans not to travel to, it is clear that nothing – not natural disasters, not hunger, not rampant violence – is seen as a valid justification anymore for protected status. Our government is perfectly comfortable sending longstanding, law-abiding residents into life-threatening conditions, and their U.S. citizen children as well.

National TPS Alliance: The National TPS Alliance on TPS Termination for El Salvador “Congress is Complicit for Failure to Create Pathway to Permanent Residency”

The National TPS Alliance condemns the DHS decision and the Trump administration’s endorsement to take away legal status of hundreds of thousands of long-time immigrants. While their actions are unsurprising, the inaction of congress and other political leaders is much more devastating. Due to its failure to pass legislation allowing for permanent residency for TPS holders, Congress is also complicit.

Salvadorans are one of the largest immigrant groups in the United States, and it is clear that the struggle to Save TPS has only been growing, and will only continue becoming stronger. As TPS holders, this is a reminder that our lives are not bargaining chips, our struggle is far from over, and we will not allow ourselves to be subject to such systemic mistreatment in a country we’ve come to call our own.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network: Hundreds of thousands of families to face end of immigration protection: Decision to end Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador is a travesty

This is yet another ill-conceived decision by an administration that ignores the immense contributions to our country by immigrants and that has lost sight of the United States’ long history as a safe haven for people who flee danger abroad,” said Bishop Kevin Vann, chairman of the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and bishop of the Diocese of Orange in California. “By terminating TPS for El Salvador, hundreds of thousands of people, including U.S. citizen children and extended family, will be faced with wrenching decisions about how to proceed with their lives. The administration fails to address how it makes the United States any safer to expel people who have been living and working legally as valued residents of our country. Instead of withdrawing their protections, our government should welcome these long-term, settled members of our communities and find ways to give them a permanent path to residency.

Church World Service: CWS CONDEMNS HEARTLESS DHS DECISION TO TERMINATE PROTECTIONS FOR SALVADORAN TPS HOLDERS

This decision follows the administration’s recent announcements terminating TPS designations for Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua, as well as ending the Central American Minors (CAM) program that protected children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and reunited them with a parent in the United States,” said Erol Kekic, Executive Director of the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program.  “It comes despite clear and documented evidence of worsening country conditions in El Salvador–including the highest murder rate in the world, and forced gang conscription, sexual violence, and human trafficking. The consequences of this decision will be catastrophic: nearly 200,000 Salvadoran TPS holders have lived and worked lawfully in the United States for nearly 17 years, and approximately 90 percent of children in the CAM program have a TPS holder parent. Ending TPS for El Salvador runs counter to our American values and tears apart families–including the 192,700 U.S. citizen children who have a Salvadoran TPS holder parent. We urge the administration to immediately reinstate El Salvador’s TPS designation and calls on Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect all TPS holders.

National Immigrant Justice Center: Senseless Decision To End TPS For Salvadorans Will Devastate American Families And Communities

Statement of Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigrant Justice Center:

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) condemns the Trump administration’s reckless and inhumane decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans living in the United States. This decision brings uncertainty and fear to nearly 200,000 people living in the United States with TPS, their communities, and families—including more than 190,000 American children whose parents are TPS recipients from El Salvador.

National Immigration Forum: ADMINISTRATION TERMINATES PROTECTED STATUS FOR SALVADORANS

This is a deeply disappointing decision that will not only disrupt the lives of TPS recipients and their families, but devastate the local economies they have contributed to for years,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Congress has a responsibility to act in the best interest of our nation by legislating a permanent solution that allows current TPS holders to contribute fully without fear of deportation.

Make the Road New York: Immigrant New Yorkers Denounce Trump’s Decision to End TPS for 200,000 Salvadorans and Urge Congress to Take Immediate Action

Rodman Serrano, a college leader of Make the Road New York from Long Island and son of Salvadorans, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization’s 22,000 members. Rodman’s parents will now be losing TPS protection as a result of Trump’s decision.

TPS has given my sisters and me the promise of protection from our parents. We are one of thousands of Salvadoran families with TPS who call Long Island home. As the child of immigrants, my parents have given me the tools and support to attend college and to pursue my dreams.

Any decision to end TPS is thoughtless and cruel and it would achieve nothing but splitting apart families like mine. It is for this reason that I and other U.S. citizen children who will be affected by the end of TPS, are choosing to speak out and to share our stories and demanding legislation to keep our families together.

Latino Victory Slams Administration’s Decision to End TPS for Salvadorans

This dangerous decision showcases the dearth of humanity at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. President Trump is forcing hundreds of thousands of hard-working taxpayers to choose between risking their lives in El Salvador and becoming undocumented,” said Cristóbal J. Alex, president of Latino Victory. “This is beyond the pale. The Administration can no longer deny its intention to reverse America’s demographic trends at the expense of innocent families and our economy.

UndocuBlack: The Trump Administration Adds 200,000 Salvadorans to their Deportation List

This was Nielson’s first test of humanity for TPS holders and she has disgracefully failed. There are over 200,000 Salvadorans with TPS and ending their legal protection is cruel and inhumane.  The 18 month extension is no solace as asking these individuals to stop their lives, that of their children and family is preposterous. All roads now lead to a legislative solution immediately.

MomsRising: Ending TPS for Salvadorans Is ‘Unconscionable,’ Will ‘Threaten Families and Disrupt Communities’

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising, said:

TPS recipients are our mothers, our neighbors, our community leaders, and our friends. Many of the Salvadoran TPS recipients have lived and worked in the United States for decades. They have paid taxes, built businesses and contributed to our country’s strength and prosperity. Many have children who were born in the United States and know no other home. Withdrawing TPS for Salvadorans will force hundreds of thousands of people to leave their lives and children behind to return to El Salvador, one of the most dangerous and impoverished countries in the world. This move is short-sighted and unconscionable.

ELCA Advocacy: ELCA Advocacy is deeply disappointed in Administration’s Decision to end TPS for Salvadorans

On January 8, the Administration announced that it will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 200,000 Salvadorans. TPS is a legal immigration status that allows citizens from other countries who are present in the U.S. during a catastrophe in their country to remain in the U.S. until it is safe to return home. As a church that affirms earthly peace built on the dignity and well-being of every person, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is disappointed by the Administration’s decision that will separate families and harm communities in the U.S. and El Salvador.