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Democratic Lawmakers: DHS, POTUS Must Extend Work Permits for TPS Holders, DACA Recipients During COVID-19 Crisis

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“It is the least we can do to ensure our country prevails over this pandemic and that the soul of our nation remains intact.”

Democratic lawmakers are speaking out in an attempt to protect Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients amid the Coronavirus crisis. Over 100 lawmakers led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and 37 Senate Democrats led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent letters advocating for automatic extensions of employment authorization documents (EADs) for all immigrants including DACA recipients and TPS holders and warning about the implications that closures of immigration offices could have.

Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, commented:

We commend the leadership of these lawmakers to stand up for immigrant communities who are putting it all on the line to combat this global crisis.

Extensions of work authorization for TPS and DACA recipients are imperative steps to take to support American communities and for the nation’s economic recovery. Without the essential labor that immigrants provide during this crisis, our already overburdened healthcare and food supply systems would be pushed closer to the brink of collapse.

The numbers don’t lie. With over 200,000 DACA recipients and 130,000 TPS holders in essential industries from health care, food supply and transportation, immigrants are an essential ingredient in the nation’s response to Covid-19 and their labor should be honored. Immigrant workers are vital to our communities, economy, and most importantly, our survival. They are among the workers feeding us, taking care of our sick and elderly, and transporting necessities, and we need to take action to ensure their work continues.

This step is one of many that must be taken to protect DACA recipients and TPS holders. With both statuses in limbo hanging by the thread of court rulings, Senate Republicans must now do their job and join with Democrats to pass permanent protections and a path to citizenship for the DACA recipients and TPS holders. It is the least we can do to ensure our country prevails over this pandemic and that the soul of our nation remains intact.