tags: , , AVEF, Press Releases

As Family Separation Crisis Looms, TPS Holders and Their Families Fight to Stay Together in California

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TPS Expiration Dates:
Sudan, 11/2/2018
Nicaragua, 1/5/2019
Nepal, 6/24/2019
Haiti, 7/22/2019
El Salvador, 9/9/2019
Honduras, 1/5/2020

Participants of the TPS Caravan “Journey for Justice” made their voices heard this past week in San Francisco. As part of their nationwide tour, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, family members, advocates, and community leaders protested the administration’s termination of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Sudan. As a result of the terminations, more than 400,000 TPS holders could be forced back to countries experiencing ongoing war, famine, and violence. It could also spurr an even larger family separation crisis when more than 270,000 U.S. citizen children could potentially be orphaned after their TPS holder-parents are forcibly deported.

More coverage of the caravan’s stop in San Francisco is below.

Ida Mojadad from SF Weekly wrote:

“Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming,” Trump tweeted in April. “Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

This week, another caravan of immigrants embarked on a journey to keep them in the United States with legal documents, and out of the shadows. Through a program called Temporary Protected Status (TPS), people from any of 10 countries are allowed into the U.S. with work permits, the ability to travel, and protection from deportation. But six of those countries —  Haiti, Sudan, Honduras, Nepal, El Salvador, and Nicaragua — are set to lose the designation, most of them in 2019. That means more than 400,000 people will be given final notice to leave the United States — people who must choose to return at their own will, potentially leaving family members behind, or else wait for ICE to find them.

… rally speaker Christina Morales emigrated from El Salvador, but after 20 years in the United States, she doesn’t feel at home there any longer. Morales and her 14-year-old, Bay Area-born daughter, Crista Ramos, are lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco against the Trump administration on the grounds that ending TPS would tear apart families.

Ramos is one of the estimated 273,000 U.S. citizens with parents who have TPS status, according to the Center for Migration Studies. California alone has 55,000 Salvadorans with TPS status.

“Without TPS, without having protections, it will be really easy for the government to get rid of us. They are going to send us with no excuses; they’re going to separate us from our families,” Morales told the crowd. “And we don’t want that. We want justice. And we need all your help.”

The San Francisco Examiner reports:

The administration is planning to end TPS for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Liberia, Syria, South Sudan and Nepal at various times in 2019, citing improved conditions in those nations.

TPS for people from Sudan is set to end in November, while the end of TPS for people from Nicaragua is set for early January.

“We’re here to fix a system that is broken,” San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said at the rally outside of City Hall.

“It is about ensuring that all Americans understand how important TPS is. At a time when we should be expanding the program, the Trump Administration is eliminating it. At a time when we should be opening our borders to immigrants, the Trump Administration is doing everything it can to destroy the important sanctuary cities, like what we have here in San Francisco,” Adachi said. “We need to band together. We need to make sure that our message is heard loud and clear.”

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who also made an appearance at the rally, said, “Ending TPS for the countries, especially in Central America, where we’ve had it for so long, especially, where there continues to be so much violence and so many reasons for people to be escaping those countries to come to the U.S. to have safety for their families and themselves,” she said. “Immigrants contribute to our communities. They’re what make the U.S. amazing and strong and a place that we’re proud of.”