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Center for American Progress: 130,000 TPS Holders are Providing Essential Services During the Coronavirus Crisis

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11,600 TPS Holders Working In Healthcare
76,100 TPS Holders Securing Food Supply
6,900 TPS Holders Working in Transportation

In a must-read report published today by the Center for American Progress, demographic profiles of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders illustrate how much their labor sustains essential sectors like food, healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis. 

TPS holders are risking their lives every day to ensure that the country continues to function. But instead of acknowledging this sacrifice, the Trump administration continues to pursue policies to drive TPS holders out of the country or underground by removing their status and their ability to work legally. Undermining the security of TPS holders and their families is unconscionable, especially as they are on the frontlines of battling this virus.

If Trump had his way, the more than 11,600 TPS holders working in healthcare, 76,100 working in the food supply industry and 6,900 working in transportation right now would be deported and separated from their children and communities.

As highlighted in the Center for American Progress Report:

“The average TPS holder from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti has lived in the United States for 22 years. Now, in addition to caring for their own families, more than 130,000 of these individuals—like so many other Americans—are providing a service to the entire nation at great personal risk. Whether they are providing care to older Americans in nursing homes, growing or processing food in plants to ensure that grocery store shelves remain stocked, or cleaning hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients, many thousands of TPS holders are keeping the country safe every day.”

According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

Trump and his administration continue to prioritize their own anti-immigrant agenda over common-sense public health and safety measures. Instead of protecting the TPS holders serving on the front lines of our healthcare, food and transportation systems, they are focusing on revoking the status of these essential workers in the midst of this unprecedented crisis. That’s not only cruel, it is senseless and counterproductive.

Congress and the President should be acting now to extend protections for TPS holders and alleviate anxiety about their future in this country they call home. Suspending the threat of deportation and revocation of work permits is the only reasonable measure that is in the best interest of public health and economic security. The President can extend TPS protections, but because he is running on his anti-immigrant agenda this year, he is unlikely to do so. So Congress needs to step up and provide protection for these essential workers. Where are Rubio, Scott, McSally, and Gardner? Instead of continuing to lean on the President’s anti-immigrant rhetoric to fire up the Republican base, Republican lawmakers must recognize the vital contributions of essential TPS workers and secure their status in this country as frontline heroes in this crisis.