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The Tens Of Thousands Of Essential Worker TPS Holders Increase Urgency To Pass The American Dream & Promise Act

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131,000 TPS Holders from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras are on the frontlines battling COVID-19

In a week that saw the reintroduction of two critical pieces of immigration legislation, the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, it bears remembering that so many Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders have been on the frontlines, battling the coronavirus, now more than a year into the pandemic. TPS holders would have a path to permanent residency and citizenship under the American Dream and Promise Act.

According to a report released by the Center for American Progress, an estimated 11,600 TPS holders are working in healthcare, 76,100 in food-related services including agriculture, warehouse distribution, and grocery stores. 

The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

TPS holders have demonstrated time and again that they are essential to the fabric of this country, but they are essential in other more tangible ways as well: helping our nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, more than 131,000 TPS holders are essential workers on the frontlines including in health care, agriculture, warehouse distribution and grocery stores.

The reintroduction of the American Dream & Promise Act represents an opportunity for Congress to express its gratitude for their incredible service and create a pathway to citizenship for America’s hard working and under appreciated essential workers who lack permanent residency and a path to citizenship. 

This is only fair. For many TPS holders, the United States is the only home they’ve known for decades and many have lived in the U.S. longer than any other country. Families across the country would suffer if TPS holders were forced from their communities. To continue to allow TPS holders to experience instability and uncertainty is cruel and unnecessarily jeopardizes our collective recovery – especially those TPS holders on the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with the Biden-Harris administration, Congress needs to act now to pass both of these critical pieces of legislation. It starts in the House, but the Senate will need to act as well. All of those Members of Congress in both parties who express their support for immigrants and immigration will get a chance to demonstrate their commitment with their votes. The U.S. should protect those who have been serving this country, building our economy, and keeping us going during the pandemic.