This statement was updated on January 22, 2018.
Washington, D.C.—Congress is currently negotiating an end to the shutdown of all non-essential government services which began midnight on Friday, January 19. Negotiations have included proposals for extending legal protected status for the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, known as “Dreamers,” with some lawmakers promising to reject any budget deal that does not give Dreamers a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency.
As discussions continue, it is of utmost importance that Members of Congress provide a permanent solution both for the Dreamers and the long-term U.S. residents who were denied a pathway to permanent residency under the terms of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
The Trump administration has already revoked TPS status for an estimated 255,000 Salvadorans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans, people that the U.S. government continuously decided to protect as they were unable to safely return to their country of origin due to conflict and natural disasters. The Trump administration has also sought to end the DACA program, putting the children of immigrants at risk of deportation back to countries they have never known.
The Dreamers and the long-term residents who were protected under TPS have long asked for Congress to give them a way to normalize their status, so that they can continue contributing positively to their communities. Now is the time for Congress to provide that solution for both Dreamers and other long-term residents now facing deportation.
“Congress has already failed these children and families time and time again with their inability to pass a long-term immigration fix,” said President of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Matt Clausen. “It’s time to stop kicking the can down the road. Congress needs to come to an agreement and prevent the cruel and inhumane deportation of hundreds of thousands of students, business owners, and taxpayers who’ve long called the United States their home.”
See WOLA’s factsheet on the “Dreamers” here.
Read WOLA’s op-ed in The Hill about the termination of protected status for Salvadorans.