The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) issued the following statement on the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to rescind the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of over 200,000 individuals from El Salvador, many who have been working legally in the US since 2001. This decision comes on the heels of a similar decision to allow TPS to expire for tens of thousands of Haitians and Nicaraguans. Reports indicate that Honduran beneficiaries of this program will also be targeted next.
“How is it in our national interest to mercilessly kick out almost a quarter of a million people who have made our communities more prosperous and our economy more vibrant?”
Ana Sol Gutiérrez
NHCSL President and Pennsylvania State Representative Ángel Cruz said: “It is reprehensible to separate families that have been working hard, playing by the rules and paying taxes. The Government of El Salvador has said that the Central American country is not equipped to receive a sudden influx of 200,000 individuals. We all know that the security conditions in Central America are also very dangerous. The Administration needs to understand that most of these legal immigrants have US citizen children and that rescinding TPS means that either these American kids will need to live in foster care or with relatives, or go to a country they don’t even know.”
Maryland State Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez, who is from El Salvador, said: “How is it in our national interest to mercilessly kick out almost a quarter of a million people who have made our communities more prosperous and our economy more vibrant? We should be rewarding these brave souls for their tireless efforts, instead of punishing them for playing by the rules. As Latino state legislators, we call on Congress – in a bipartisan basis – to create a legal path to citizenship and pass comprehensive immigration reform to solve this issue once and for all. As Congress considers a fix for DACA recipients, they should also include a path to permanent residency for TPS beneficiaries as well.”
NHCSL Executive Director Kenneth Romero stated that: “The federal government’s decision to rescind TPS for protected Salvadoran immigrants will have the effect of condemning many of them either to misery, if they go back, or illegality, if they stay in order to continue supporting their families here in the US. We urge DHS to reconsider this ill-timed decision and restore TPS protections for 200,000 Salvadorans who have become an integral part of communities across the nation. Separating families and kicking out productive, law-abiding members of society should not be the priority of our country’s top law-enforcement agencies.”
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