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Country Conditions in Haiti, Central America Should Make TPS Designations Easy for Biden Team

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“It’s time for President Biden to deliver on promises he made on the campaign trail to protect immigrant communities”

Washington, DC — As days, weeks, and months go by with no movement from the Biden Administration on whether or not it will keep it’s promise to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, conditions in Haiti and across Central America continue to deteriorate — conditions for which TPS was plainly created to help alleviate and stabilize.

Last week, the Prime Minister of Haiti resigned amid escalating crime and political violence. Also last week, a “Mass for the freedom of Haiti” was interrupted with violence that resulted in four kidnappings. Kidnappings, which subsequently draw families further into debt and poverty due to ransoms, have become a common occurrence as political instability rages on amid a backdrop of widespread poverty, gang violence, and violence against women.

Roughly 1,200 miles away in the Northern Triangle region, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua are struggling with separate push factors, including political corruption, the implications of devastating Hurricanes Eta and Iota last fall, and the Coronavirus pandemic — all of which have exacerbated already existing extreme hunger and poverty in the region.

Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communications at America’s Voice responded: 

TPS was created to support countries in the exact situations we are seeing in countries who are practically next door. It’s a no brainer that the Biden administration should be using TPS as a tool at their disposal to protect immigrants and stabilize the region. TPS would grant safety to those already here in the U.S. who fled dangerous conditions and would help stabilize the countries’ economies through remittances. It’s a win for all involved.

It’s time for President Biden to deliver on promises he made on the campaign trail to protect immigrant communities. Instead, his administration is actively deporting people back to Haiti, continues to uphold barriers to asylum and has not fully engaged plans to help stabilize regions of the Northern Triangle. TPS could and should be part of the administration’s regional response and ongoing foreign policy solutions for neighbors right here in the hemisphere.

For a deep dive discussion of U.S. policy options in Central America to address the root causes and acute causes of migration, see: “Policy Experts Address Root Causes of Migration From the Northern Triangle, Potential Solutions and the Biden-Harris Plan” and the recording of the April 22, 2020 press conference call here.