Thirty-three Democratic senators signed a letter addressed to Antony Blinken, Secretary of State for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, and Alejandro Meyercas, Secretary of Homeland Security, calling for Guatemala to offer a new position.
Through TPS, eligible persons entering the United States from those countries will receive a guarantee that they cannot be deported from the country and will also be eligible for an employment authorization document and travel authorization.
Since last January, more than 800,000 expatriates from four countries have come into contact with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the southwest border.
These four countries, with a combined population of about 40 million, significantly outnumber Mexican citizens on the border. Mexico, with a population of about 129 million, saw more than 650,000 Mexican citizens coming to the border during the same time frame.
Human rights organizations and scholars often point to the dire economic conditions in the four countries as well as issues of climate change and mass violence as reasons for significant migration numbers. as reported by newsweekThese factors have been magnified by COVID-19. Senators echoed these sentiments In his letter dated 10 January,
“It is our assessment that the severe damage caused by back-to-back hurricanes a year ago, coupled with extreme drought conditions, and the social and economic distress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, warrants such action by the Administration. ,” the MPs wrote.
The letter continued, “The crisis in Central America is urgent… The TPS designation and re-designation will provide significant protection for eligible beneficiaries and enable them to support the basic needs of their loved ones and invest in safer alternatives to irregular migration.” “
TPS applies to individuals who are already “physically present” in the United States “since the effective date of your country’s most recent designation date”. It does not provide a route to permanent residence or citizenship; However, people living in the US under the program can apply for those positions.
In August, the Biden administration granted the status to individuals in Haiti. Despite this, Oxfam America said it did not prevent the administration from deporting Haitians to their home countries under Title 42 public health policy.
Title 42, which was enforced by the Trump administration and has continued under President Joe Biden, states that persons coming from a country who suffer the presence of a “communicable disease” are not allowed to enter the United States. may be prohibited from doing so.
Human rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have criticized the policy, saying it prevents migrants with valid asylum claims from presenting their case in the United States. The ACLU writes that the US “has the resources to safely process security-seeking people,” making the policy unnecessary. It is not clear how the policy could be implemented if these four countries are offered the TPS designation. The ACLU is committed to appealing the rule.
“If the Biden Administration really wants to treat asylum seekers humanely, it must end this lawless policy now and withdraw its appeal. We will continue to fight to end this illegal policy,” the headline. 42. ACLU Attorney Lee Gelernt, lead attorney in the challenge said in response An appellate court ruling of 30 September allowed the policy to remain in place.
A State Department spokesman said newsweek They refer the matter to the Department of Homeland Security, given their role in overseeing TPS designations.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said newsweek That DHS responds to Congressional correspondence through official channels.