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Rep. Joaquin Castro, TPS holders, Experts: Need for TPS for El Salvador and Honduras is Urgent

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A recording of the call is available here

 Earlier today, potential TPS holders, advocates, and experts joined Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX20) to explain the urgent need for the Biden Administration to designate El Salvador and Honduras for TPS. Country conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, and throughout Central America have continued to deteriorate over the years with increased violence, corruption, environmental disasters, and impacts of climate change —all of which has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

A TPS designation for El Salvador and Honduras would not only provide protections from deportation for those who have fled dangerous circumstances, but would also prompt an increased flow of remittances back to Central America. The Biden Administration should act quickly to utilize TPS to save lives but also as a tool to help financially stabilize the country.

Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), said, “As climate change continues to threaten countries across the globe, we will continue to face stronger and more devastating natural disasters, such as hurricanes Eta and Iota. The U.S. must lead by example and designate the TPS Program for El Salvador and Honduras. Not only would this program help Central American countries respond to infrastructure challenges, but would also benefit the American economy and play a vital role in addressing root causes of forced migration.”

Oscar Chacon, Executive Director, Alianza Americas said, “We must elevate the in-country conditions and stories from people who are impacted. Conditions in these Central American countries have continued to deteriorate due to natural disasters and violence-all of which have been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. TPS designation is essential for these people.”

Celia Medrano, Human Rights Advocate from El Salvador said, “It is critical for people to listen to the voices of these countries — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras– who have been forced to leave their homes and flee to America. Corruption has been institutionalized in our country, and increased violent activities that have disrespected our human rights. Since 2014, the Attorney General in El Salvador has recorded thousands of disappearances. Our democratic institutions have allowed political harassment and persecution to become more and more systematic. That is why so many people are fleeing these countries and seeking asylum.”

Yimene Calderon, Garifuna leader in La Ceiba, Honduras, and part of Community Ethnic Development Organization (ODECO) and Central American Black Organization (ONECA), said, “2020 was one of the hardest years for our region, especially as a result of hurricanes Eta and Iota. There was absolute destruction in the northern area of the region, where communities were destroyed. The poverty rate has increased to more than 70%, and unemployment is rampant. The aid measures the state is trying to implement excludes the majority of the population, which drives them deeper into poverty. Drug trafficking and organized crime causes undue stress on our residents. We must begin to build a new narrative about what our people are going through, and a new TPS designation is truly necessary to provide hope and save lives and families.”

Iris Canizales, potential TPS holder from El Salvador and community organizer at CRECEN Houston said, “Since I arrived in Texas from El Salvador, I have supported civic causes and community spaces in various ways. I have volunteered with voter outreach programs, women’s domestic violence organizations, and vaccination clinics. Migrants are people who are grateful for the opportunities that this country offers us. If the U.S. government gave us the benefits of being covered under a program that guarantees us permanent protections and a work permit, we could develop and contribute even more to our countries of origin like this country that we now call home.”

Ana Mariel Green, potential TPS holder from Honduras said, “Since November 2020, I have been working at a hotel, working to clean and provide a safe environment for guests of the hotel. During the pandemic, I have conducted meticulous cleaning to ensure that guests are not infected with COVID. I believe that I am an essential worker, and my contributions to the hotel and the safety of my guests makes me very proud. A TPS designation would have a very significant impact on my life, and on the life of other immigrants who provide essential services in the US.”