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Archbishop Wenski, Politicians, and Miami Community Leaders Discuss Another Looming Family Separation Crisis and Fate of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders

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Today, the Archbishop of Miami, along with politicians and Miami community leaders, came together as part of a summit discussing the impact of the Trump administration rescinding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador and how Congress must step in to find a permanent solution for these families.

They discussed how the decision to end TPS could ultimately lead to more family separation given that the more than 300,000 TPS holders — legal immigrants — facing deportation are parents to 273,000 US citizen children.

Without a solution by Congress, hundreds of thousands of U.S. children could be forcibly separation from their parents.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Archdiocese of Miami, said, “To make America great again should be the aspiration of every American citizen; but we won’t make America great by making America mean. We do not need mean spirited policies but common sense policies with humanity.”

Marleine Bastien, Executive Director, Family Action Network (FANM), said “The situation at the southern border is heartbreaking. We can’t emphasize this enough: the victims here are children! Starting next year, more than 300,000 legal immigrants face separation from their American-born children. They are parents to approximately 273,000 American children such as Christina. We need more than tweets and statements from members of Congress— we need action now. Only Congress can provide a permanent solution that includes due law for these children and averts this developing crisis.”

Yanira Arias, Alianza America said, “When I was granted TPS back in 2001, the US offered me refuge from the violence of El Salvador and destruction of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. In return, I have worked to give back to this country that has given me so much. I pay taxes and support community organizations from coast to coast. 17 years later, I hardly recognize the country that once opened its doors to me. Time is running out for TPS holders and their families. I am calling on Congress to bring legislation to the floor. There are five bills awaiting a vote, and delaying debate on this issue does nothing but leave families in limbo. The time is now.”

Cristina Ponthieux, daughter of TPS Recipient, said “Temporary Protected Status is a miracle and a blessing for families like mine because it gives us the opportunity to live the American dream. If we do not find a solution for TPS recipients, my family as well as hundred thousand families will be at risk of separation, and that makes me feel very sad. But I cannot give up. I will continue to fight because one day our voices will be heard.”

Miami Dade branch of the NAACP, said “Much more needs to be done. First, there should be comprehensive immigration reform that does not discriminate against black and brown immigrants based on the color of their skin. It should include a clear path to citizenship for recipients of TPS and DACA, who have built a life for themselves in the have started families, purchased homes, paid into retirement systems, and paid local and federal taxes will be forced to leave all that they worked for behind. Second, we are calling on the U.S. to stop criminalizing black and brown bodies, whether immigrants or not. The private prison system is one of the primary beneficiaries of this administration’s hyperincarceration policies, and we are calling on all legislators at every level to refuse to put profits over people.”