Washington, DC – Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of an Executive Order from President Biden that aimed to develop a “multi-pronged approach toward managing migration throughout North and Central America that reflects the Nation’s highest values” and ultimately “foster sustainable societies” throughout the Northern Triangle. Just last week, Vice President Harris’ trip to Honduras reiterated the administration’s commitment to strong regional partnerships and many of the goals outlined in the Executive Order.
As the Biden Administration seeks to advance regional stability and help manage migration, expanding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Central American countries should be a core component of their strategy. In particular, issuing a new TPS designation for Guatemala and redesignating TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua would advance U.S. interests, strengthen regional stability, and help alleviate the root causes of migration. TPS can be a core component of a smart regional approach to help stabilize Central America.
TPS grants a form of temporary status for individuals from specific countries already living, working, paying taxes and raising families in the U.S., allowing them to work legally, improve their incomes and send additional monies back to families in the region through remittances. It not only would be good for the stability of Central American countries, but would benefit the U.S. economy as well, by stabilizing the lives of many essential workers who contribute billions in taxes and spending power to our domestic economy. TPS can be granted solely at the discretion of the President and his Cabinet, making it harder for Republicans and other anti-immigrant actors to obstruct or derail progress.
According to Vanessa Cardenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
One year ago, President Biden outlined a smart strategy and vision for stabilizing Central America and alleviating the root causes of migration from the region. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has fallen short of their promises and too often failed to follow through, implement or sell their own sensible strategy to the American people.
Now, with the administration appearing to re-engage with the region, expanding TPS to Central American countries can be an important component of a renewed year two approach to address the root causes of migration; stabilize lives and communities in both the region and U.S.; and help deliver on promises made to the American people with regards to immigration. In an election year, American voters want concrete action, not more promises and President Biden has the tools at his fingertips to deliver on TPS if he has the will to use them.