Van Hollen, Cardin and Velázquez urge colleagues to ask President Biden to scan countries for temporary protection status
May 27, 2021
“TPS extends necessary humanitarian protections and keeps families together.”
US Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) And Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (DN.Y.) Today, their colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives called on President Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas to use the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program in a broad and bold way to protect vulnerable people.
“We respectfully request that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the United States Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immediately conduct a review of at least 17 countries to determine their eligibility to be nominated or re-nominated. for TPS, including: Bahamas, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. The reports indicate that the conditions in each of these countries satisfy one or more GST conditions under 8 USC § 1254a, ” lawmakers wrote.
The members continued, “We applaud your vision to establish a just, humane and functional immigration system that protects those in need of refuge and promotes stability for Americans…. The full and extensive use of TPS designations, which is both congressional intent and the letter of the law, is an essential tool that can be used now to advance this long-term vision.
This letter reiterates the message expressed by more than 310 local, state and national organizations in a March letter. DHS has already announced new TPS designations for Venezuela and Burma and a new designation for Haiti.
Senators Cory A. Booker (DN.J.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D -Minn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (DN.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-California), Jack Reed (DR.I.), Jacky Rosen (D -Nev.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) And Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), as well as representatives Jake Auchincloss, Earl Blumenauer , Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D, Anthony G. Brown, André Carson, Joaquin Castro, David Cicilline, Yvette D. Clarke, Gerald E. Connolly, Val Demings, Mark DeSaulnier, Anna G. Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Mondaire Jones, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, James P. McGovern, Gregory W. Meks, Grace Meng, Gwen Moore, Joe Neguse, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Frank Pallone, Jr., Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley, Jamie Raskin, Kathleen M. Rice, CA Dutch Ruppersberger, Bobby L. Rush, Jan Schako wsk y, Albio Sires, Dina Titus, Ritchie Torres, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Frederica S. Wilson.
May 27, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
US Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
Dear President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas:
We are writing to thank you for your administration’s commitment to use the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to protect vulnerable populations who are not safe in their countries of origin due to violence or violence. a disaster. In particular, we welcome your recent actions to grant TPS for Venezuela and for Burma and to issue a new designation for Haiti. We respectfully request that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the United States Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immediately conduct a review of at least 17 countries to determine their eligibility to be nominated or re-nominated for TPS, including: Bahamas, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. The reports indicate that the conditions in each of these countries meet one or more GST conditions under 8 USC § 1254a.
As you know, Congress created TPS in 1990, delegating the power to the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security to initiate temporary and comprehensive protection for nationals of a country who would face life-threatening conditions in the event of back. There is no numerical limit on the number of people who can hold a TPS; rather, it aims to provide relief to all those who cannot and should not be returned in dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, the most recent administration did not use the TPS to respond to adverse developments in foreign states.
We welcome your vision to establish a just, humane, and functioning immigration system that protects those in need of refuge and promotes stability for Americans. We fully support your legislative proposals to this effect, including the US Citizenship Act, and we are grateful to see a fast-track path to citizenship for GST holders included. The comprehensive and expansive use of TPS designations, which is both congressional intent and the letter of the law, is a critical tool that can be used now to advance this long-term vision.
First, TPS has long been used to provide a safe haven in cases where a person is not eligible for refugee status but still needs protection from unsafe conditions. It’s a vital concomitant asset as you do the work of rebuilding the United States Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) following the devastation it has suffered over the past four years. At the same time, redesignations are critical to keeping U.S. citizen children with their parents, consistent with your administration’s emphasis on protecting family unity.
The strategic use of TPS is also important to your stated goal of addressing the root causes of forced migration. A critical part of addressing violence, instability and lack of opportunity is to protect foreign nationals currently living in the United States from deportation to these conditions, which stretches the already limited ability of these countries to welcome them. TPS holders also provide billions of dollars in “unofficial foreign aid” from the United States to their home countries through remittances, helping loved ones endure the very conditions that make their return dangerous.
Finally, the TPS program serves national economic interests. As you know, the program allows beneficiaries to work in addition to their protection against deportation. GST holders pay approximately $ 2.3 billion in federal taxes and $ 1.3 billion in state and local taxes each year. They hold an estimated annual purchasing power of $ 10.1 billion. Their employers contribute millions to Social Security and Medicare, which helps keep these programs running and solvent. Over the past year, many TPS holders have worked in industries critical to keeping our country fed, safe, healthy and clean during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 5, 2021, more than 310 national, local and national immigrant, labor, faith, civil and legal organizations wrote a letter urging your administration to review nearly all of the countries listed above (taking into account Ethiopia letter publication, organizations do not have a declared position on TPS for Ethiopia at this time). We join them in respectfully requesting the immediate review of country conditions and appropriate designations for the above countries, in line with your commitment to supporting immigrant communities and a functioning and humane immigration system. It will take time to correct the flaws in our current system. In the meantime, TPS is extending necessary humanitarian protections and keeping families together. We thank you for your consideration and attention to this topical issue and greatly appreciate your continued support of the TPS program.
 For example, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are three of the top ten countries for remittances from the United States, with individuals sending home an estimated $ 8.49 billion, $ 4.87 billion, and 4, 06 billion dollars respectively from 2010 to 2018. See Martin A. Weiss, Remittances: Background and Issues for Congress 6, Congressional Research Service, R43217, available at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43217.pdf.