Boston, MA— The Department of Homeland Security’s decision Monday night to end Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Nicaragua is a step in the wrong direction.
“I am sad but not surprised with the Trump administration decision of canceling the TPS to Nicaraguan nationals. This decision must be taken as a warning for other TPS beneficiaries and we must work together to urge our legislators to take action ASAP to save the TPS community from being deported,” said Jose Palma, coordinator of the Massachusetts TPS Committee and a TPS beneficiary from El Salvador.
There is still time for DHS to reverse course and keep families together by renewing TPS for Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador. These countries are still grappling with instability, violence, natural disaster and other conditions that undoubtedly warrant extension.
“Our community is troubled by yesterday’s announcement,”said Dieufort J. Fleurissaint, Chairman of Haitian Americans United Coalition. “This is a crisis for Nicaraguan communities and for everyone that interacts with and depends on them every day. We are hoping for a more humanitarian response when it comes to Haitians with TPS status who could also be faced with the daunting task of relocating every aspect of their lives from the safety and security of a country they have truly made their home.”
On top of listening to TPS holders, their families and community members, DHS must also listen to foreign policy experts and must consider the impact, both at home and abroad.
“Ending TPS is simply out of step with what a majority of Americans want,” said Roxana Rivera, vice president of 32BJ SEIU, a union with more than 18,000 members in the Boston area. “TPS recipients have made deep roots in the U.S. and the program has strong support from the faith, labor and business communities. While DHS must play a role in extending TPS to the fullest extent possible, Congress must act on a more permanent solution for TPS so that families can stay together and our nation can truly live up to its values.”
Recently, the Chamber of Commerce publicly appealed to DHS to extend TPS for the 300,000 plus beneficiaries that keep local businesses running.
“Yesterday’s decision by the Trump Administration to not allow TPS holders from Nicaragua to renew their status will have a negative impact on Greater Boston’s business community, that impact will be hightened if more TPS holders in the state are not permitted to renew their status.” said James E. Rooney, president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “TPS holders are important economic contributors in our state, including many of our small business owners – a major source of employment – which, if expelled in larger numbers, would damage our economy, the job market and the housing market throughout Boston and Massachusetts. We believe that steady, legal immigration is key to maintaining and growing our region’s economic strength and competitiveness, and we urge the Administration to allow those with TPS status the opportunity to stay and continue contributing to our economic success.”
While DHS must play a role in extending TPS to the fullest extent possible, Congress must act on a more permanent solution for TPS so that families can stay together and our nation can truly live up to its values.
With 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.