tags: Press Releases, Uncategorized

“A Missed Opportunity” – Biden TPS Announcement Reaction from Vanessa Cárdenas

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Washington, DC – Today, the Biden Administration announced plans to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for current TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua for 18 months. However, the administration is not redesignating or expanding eligibility for TPS beyond existing recipients from these four countries covered in the Ramos litigation. 

The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Today’s TPS announcement is another missed opportunity from a humanitarian, economic and political perspective. While the extension will provide a measure of certainty for current TPS holders, the administration chose to stay at the bare minimum threshold. If it is unsafe and unwise to send back individuals from these countries who arrived in the 1990s, it is unsafe and unwise to send back those who have fled instability and violence more recently and are left out of today’s announcement. The Biden administration must take further steps to protect these additional immigrants as soon as possible.

A CBS News report cited unnamed Biden officials’ concern over an expansion of TPS becoming a ‘pull factor’ for future migration – yet the notion of the ‘pull factor’ has been thoroughly studied and dismantled (see this excellent thread on the topic from immigration policy and legal expert Tom Jawetz). Indeed, covering more people with TPS allows recipients to sustain themselves and help their families back home in the form of remittances, further stabilizing those countries and reducing migration pressures. 

At the same time that the Biden administration has been touting the importance of new legal pathways, and blasting Congress for not acting on reform, it is missing a huge opportunity to cement important new legal protections and opportunities. 

Like most every issue leading into the re-election year, the political lens is the best way to assess their choice. It appears the Administration allowed its fears about future irregular migration and Republicans’ endless anti-immigrant attacks to supersede the chance to stabilize and strengthen both our economy and American communities. In the process, the Biden Administration missed an opportunity for a common sense policy that would benefit our economy and would provide a measure of relief to hard working people already here. The American people are far more supportive of immigrants and immigration – including asylum and TPS – than Republican talking points or right wing media coverage would indicate. President Biden can and should expand the conversation away from just the border to the larger focus about policies for immigrants in the United States that help them thrive and the American economy grow.

The Biden Administration needs to come to terms with the fact that being timid on immigration only emboldens the GOP. Stop leading from fear and use your executive authority to lean in and implement the policies that would actually improve our immigration system, strengthen our economy and benefit our communities.”