Group of 116 members of Congress sign letter in support of TPS for Central Americans

Press Release

Activists continue their fight for migrants and denounce that ARENA misinforms and manipulates the issues of TPS and DACA

Washington, D.C. – A bipartisian group of 116 Members of Congress sent a letter this morning to the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, to advocate for the extension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for the approximately 300,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans who have TPS, Hondurans since 1999 and Salvadorans since 2001.

According to Representative James McGovern (D-MA), who was one of the leaders of the letter, “TPS holders are valued friends, neighbors, and business owners in our communities and they deserve to stay until conditions back home stabilize.”

TPS for Hondurans expires in January of 2018 and for Salvadorans in March of 2018. Concern has been raised about the future of TPS for the two Central American countries since the Trump administration decided to renew TPS for Haitians for a period of six months instead of the eighteen months that previous extensions lasted. The Department of Homeland Security indicated to TPS holders from Haiti that they should prepare themselves to return to the Caribbean island nation.

The recently announced cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has also intensified the concern and uncertainty about the future of TPS for people from Central American and other countries.

“The Trump administration has a racist and xenophobic agenda against the migrant community,” commented Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), a US-based grassroots organization. “The cancellation of DACA and the shortened TPS extension for Haitians are executive decisions that seek to advance his anti-migrant agenda, but the migrant community and its allies are and are going to be in the streets fighting these measures and in the hallways of Congress advocating for the rights of the more than 11 million undocumented migrants that live and work in the United States.”

In El Salvador, the right wing party the Nationalist Republican Alliance has suggested that the Salvadoran government’s position against foreign intervention in Venezuela to resolve the South American country’s internal crisis has been detrimental to Salvadoran migrants in the US and can affect issues like the renewal of TPS.

“The misinformation about these anti-migrant measures and the precariousness situation with TPS that has been spread by the ARENA party is a shameless attempt to politicize an issue that has nothing to do with Salvadoran politics,” opined Stoumbelis. “The Trump administration’s assault is against migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nepal and all the other countries whose citizens benefit from TPS; they are countries with governments with diverse ideologies, it’s a generalized attack and not specifically targeting El Salvador.”

Media Contact: Laura Embree-Lowry, [email protected], (202) 521-2510

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