U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and 24 Senate colleagues wrote to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging Secretaries Rex Tillerson and John Kelly to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of nationals currently residing in the United States.
The TPS designation is a temporary benefit aimed at providing relief to foreign nationals in the United States and countries devastated by natural disasters, armed conflict, or other extraordinary conditions. Currently, there are over 320,000 TPS holders in the United States from 10 countries with deadlines set to expire at the end of the year and beginning of 2018. These countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Senators urged Secretary Tillerson and Kelly to “review each of the designations closely, taking into consideration conditions on the ground and remaining mindful of the possibility that ending TPS and ordering the return of recipients could undermine fragile recovery efforts or put individuals in harm’s way.”
WOLA (The Washington Office on Latin America) supports this letter and believes that it is critical for the United States Congress to continue engaging with U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State to make sure that TPS benefits are extended to immigrants residing in the United States who are unable to safely return to their home country.