Joint Press Release: Over 310 Organizations Call on President Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas To Protect Immigrants From 18 Countries Using Temporary Protected Status

WASHINGTON — On Friday, a coalition of 314 state, local, and national immigrant, labor, faith, civil rights, and legal organizations sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas to request that they designate or redesignate 18 countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The countries include: the Bahamas, Cameroon, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Venezuela, and Yemen. Designating countries for TPS could offer protection from deportation as well as employment authorization for upwards of 2.3 million immigrants. TPS is a valuable and underused executive tool that would protect millions of people from being returned to dangerous country conditions — in accordance with congressional intent — while simultaneously providing immigration relief to people in our country who have lived for decades without legal status or protection.

Read the letter here.

Nearly halfway into the administration’s first 100 days, the Biden administration has failed to issue new designations for any country or even restore designations for countries whose TPS was terminated by the Trump administration. It will take years to undo the Trump administration’s wholesale decimation of our nation’s immigration system; and TPS is a critical tool to immediately provide work permits and protection from deportation for millions of people who cannot be safely returned to their home countries. A bold use of TPS remains in line with both the letter and spirit of the program.