Democrats and Activists Want Renewal of TPS for More than 250,000 People

FILE PHOTO: Elaine Duke testifies before a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs during a hearing on "threats to the homeland” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump’s administration should renew immigration permits for hundreds of thousands of citizens from Honduras and El Salvador, two countries that have experienced serious disasters, a group of 22 Democrats and some activists say. The Democrats even wrote a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and asked her to renew the special designations for these two countries, The Hill reports.

“In the United States, we would lose tens of thousands of productive members of our labor force who contribute to our economic growth, pay their share of taxes, and make valuable contributions to key sectors of the U.S. economy. The return of more than 250,000 individuals to Honduras and El Salvador would also have destabilizing consequences, straining recovery efforts and exacerbating existing challenges to achieving sustained economic growth and development,” they wrote.

But, it looks like the administration doesn’t want to accept the suggestion. They said that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has become a permanent fixture through the renewals made in the past.

“We’re looking at the fact that TPS means temporary, and it has not been temporary for many years and we have created a situation where people have lived in this country for a long time. It’s been clear that this administration has said, ‘we follow the rule of law,” stated David Lapan, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

TPS allows citizens of countries hit by natural disasters or war to live in the U.S. while the situation gets better and its renewed periodically for each country. DHS assesses the situation in certain country and the risks for the citizens who would have to return there and then makes a decision. Ten countries have a protected status at this moment and 61 thousand Hondurans and 200 thousand Salvadorans are expecting the decision of DHS in the next few months.

Democrats, labor unions and TPS recipients are lobbying the administration to clear the way for the beneficiaries to get permanent residents. People form 15 states are expected to protest on Monday outside DHS and to ask renewal for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.

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