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Miami Leaders Discuss Devastating Impacts to Florida if Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 300k Immigrants Is Revoked

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11/6/17 Decision deadline for 59,550 Hondurans and Nicaraguans: 10 DAYS
11/23/17 Decision deadline for 50,000 Haitians: 27 DAYS
01/08/18 Decision deadline for 195,000 Salvadorans: 73 DAYS

A recording of the press conference is available here.

Miami, FLORIDA – In a press conference this morning, community leaders, advocates, elected officials, and scholars gathered on the front steps of the Freedom Tower in Miami to highlight the close-to-home impacts of the Trump Administration revoking Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the state of Florida, where the effects will be felt disproportionately.

Speakers highlighted the potential impacts on the economy in the state and, more specifically, within Miami-Dade County, as well as the effects revocation might have on families and the countries and regions from which TPS recipients hail.

Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director, Florida Immigrant Coalition, said:

We are very concerned about the fates of some of the most valuable families in Florida. They contribute to our economy and culture, making this great state the Sunshine State. We believe that the current Administration came into office wanting to address the issue of undocumented immigrants. However, by failing to renew TPS, they will worsen the situation, forcing more than 300,000 individuals back to into the shadows. We urge very clearly and respectfully that Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Rick Scott conduct the strongest and loudest advocacy to ensure these families that are so valuable to our communities are able to stay together and contribute to our economy.

Jean Monestime, Commissioner, Miami-Dade County, said:

Sending back over 300,000 people to their homeland would surely serve to destabilize these countries; but, it is not without consequence to the local communities in which they have become entrenched–communities where they live, work, opened small businesses, bought properties, raised a family, worship and contributed to the local economy.  These individuals work in the tourism, retail, construction and other industries vital to our economy.  I strongly urge the Trump Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status to these law-abiding citizens, and stand up for what America has always stood for: a beacon of light.

Nora Sandigo, Executive Director, American Fraternity, said:

The devastating impacts of revoking the TPS status of over 300,000 persons, all of which have rebuilt their lives in the U.S., will destroy families.  We have a responsibility to them. Families have purchased homes that they will be forced to abandon. Employers will lose valuable and trusted employees, all with negative economic implications that will hurt those families affected and contrary to their belief, will be catastrophic to the economy of America.

Marleine Bastien, Executive Director, Fanm Ayisyen nan Miyami, said:

I was recently part of a large delegation that traveled to Washington as part of a national TPS advocacy week. The delegation was mainly composed of TPS recipients. I was impressed beyond belief by the courage, the strength, the resilience and the passion of the TPS recipients. I was touched by their children, especially an 8-year-old who spoke directly to the Members of Congress we met with and asked them, ‘Where am I supposed to be? Do not divide my family.’ The over half million TPS recipients from Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua contribute to the economy, but most importantly, they have deep roots in our communities and have U.S.-born children in our elementary schools and high schools. They should not be separated.

Frank Mora, Director, Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere, said:

About two or three months ago, the Presidents of Central America and the President of Haiti came to Florida State University, to meet with the Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the then-Secretary of Homeland Security.  They laid out not only a humanitarian explanation for why these families should stay and have their TPS extended, but they also laid out the economic and social costs to those families and to their communities if these individuals were to have their TPS revoked and forced to return to their home countries. If the Administration is so concerned about global violence, particularly in Central America, one of the most violent regions in the world, and from keeping people from coming to this country, then the worst and most counterproductive thing it could do would be to end TPS.