Biden Administration Makes Right Decision on TPS for Ukraine; Must Do the Same for Other Countries

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, commends the Biden administration for making the right decision to designate Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Ukraine. The decision will protect approximately 28,000 people in the United States from return to the war and humanitarian disaster in Ukraine.

“Temporary Protected Status is a pillar of the U.S. humanitarian immigration system,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC’s Executive Director. “Congress, in its wisdom, gave Homeland Security this authority for moments exactly like this, to ensure no man, woman or child is returned to conditions where their lives or freedom would be at risk. As Catholics, TPS designations put into action our faith values to welcome, share resources and recognize the dignity of all.”

CLINIC, a member of the Temporary Protected Status – Deferred Enforced Departure Administrative Advocacy Coalition, joined a letter endorsed by 177 organizations calling for TPS for Ukraine delivered to the administration last Friday.

“The urgent calls on the Biden administration to designate TPS for Ukraine are preceded by calls for TPS for Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mauritania, Afghanistan and other countries,” said Lisa Parisio, Director of Advocacy at CLINIC. “Designations for these countries are also warranted under the law. TPS for Black-majority countries can be particularly crucial in meeting the Congressional intent of TPS. As a protection for all nationals of a country, as opposed to a case-by-case determination, TPS can serve as a safety net, saving the lives of people who slip through cracks in our asylum system, including due to systemic racism.”

“TPS sends a message from the U.S. government to the world that humanitarian protection in war and disaster must be prioritized,” said Parisio. “The backlog of TPS designations for Black-majority countries here in the U.S. mirrors the anti-Blackness we’re seeing as African students and others in Ukraine are denied access to escape the conflict. As the Biden administration calls for Ukrainians to be protected through this TPS designation, it should designate TPS for Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mauritania and other countries whose nationals face grave danger if they are forced to return.”