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In Double Disappointment, Biden Administration Fails Again to Keep Promises to Protect Immigrants

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 In an ongoing case before the Supreme Court, lawyers representing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders are pushing for access to green cards that would offer work authorization and the security of permanent protection from deportation. In a surprising move, recent coverage highlights the disturbing fact that lawyers for the Biden administration chose to maintain a position aligned with the Trump administration that would deny TPS holders permanent protection. Not only does the move stand in stark contradiction with the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities and previous commitments to the immigrant community, it threatens to further destabilize Central American countries by jeopardizing remittances that TPS holders in the U.S. send home, which are a critical source of livelihood for vulnerable populations. 

Meanwhile on another TPS matter, the Biden administration is asking for an additional 60 day extension to deliberate on whether or not to eliminate TPS protection for El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan in connection to a separate lawsuit. The initial decision to terminate TPS was made by the Trump administration, and as the Biden administration continues to delay, conditions in those countries deteriorate further and more lives remain in jeopardy. 

All of this keeps TPS holders in limbo and perpetuates a Trump approach to immigration, rather than the humane, common-sense, smart reforms Biden promised to deliver.

David Leopold, leading immigration attorney, Chair of Immigration at Ulmer & Berne and former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and legal advisor for America’s Voice: 

Unfortunately when it argued Sanchez v. Mayorkas yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court the Biden Administration missed an important opportunity to affirm its commitment to a fair and humane immigration system. The administration should have taken the position that immigrants granted Temporary Protected Status are eligible to apply for green cards in the U.S. regardless of how they entered the country. And the Biden DOJ should have abandoned Trump’s misguided legal argument; an argument that is inconsistent with President Biden’s commitment to a fair and humane immigration system. Hopefully, as it now considers its position in the Ninth Circuit’s Ramos case, which challenges Trump’s decision to end TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, the Biden administration will reaffirm the President’s promise to use TPS to protect ‘vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in their countries ripped apart by violence or disaster.’