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TPS Expiration Dates:
El Salvador, 9/9/2019
South Sudan, 5/2/2019
Earlier this week several dozen Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders held demonstrations in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of a nationwide bus tour protesting against Trump’s termination of the TPS program. TPS holders and immigration advocates argue that ending the program could mean the cruel and unnecessary separation of more than 270,000 American citizen children from their parents who hold TPS status.
Coverage of the caravan is excerpted below.
Luz Gray and Michelle Rindels reported:
… while the program is designed to be temporary and the Trump administration says conditions in those countries have sufficiently improved, many recipients — especially the hundreds of thousands from El Salvador who have had the protection for nearly two decades — say they’ve set down too many roots in the country to be sent back. About 270,000 American citizen children have at least one parent with TPS, and Murillo said he’d rather risk deportation than bring his children to a country gripped by organized crime.
“I have the decision to be chased out by ICE, or chased out by crime,” he said.
He wonders aloud about what the government will do with all the TPS recipients who will soon become undocumented, as well as their children.
“What’s going to happen with these 270,000 children?” he asked. “Are they going to put them in cages too? Are they going to put them in foster care again?”
He’s also optimistic that the court system will ultimately rule in favor of what’s best for the children hanging in the balance. He’s not done fighting.
“We don’t have any Plan B. We don’t have anything,” he said. “Because to start, we have until 2019 … We have time to fight for our rights.”
The caravan began in Los Angeles last Friday and that the trip is divided into six weeks on the West Coast and another six in the East Coast for a total of three months. The bus stopped in Las Vegas in part because the city has its own TPS advocacy committee that has been active on the issue, organizing a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. among other activities.
There are several bills in Congress that would give the activists what they want — legal permanent residency — but they haven’t moved forward. One of the cars in a caravan of activists that was following the tour bus had chalk writing on it that warned in Spanish, “Listen, Congress, we’re keeping up the fight.”
“The bus is named ‘La Libertad’ (‘Liberty’ in English) because that’s what we want — liberty for the children and the beneficiaries of TPS,” Zepeda said, adding that he doesn’t have a backup plan, either, should the program truly end a year from now. “This still isn’t in our plans because we’re in the fight, and while we’re fighting, we haven’t heard the last word.”