Petition Closed
Petitioning Representative Eleanor Norton and 11 others

Grant Permanent Residence to Central Americans with Temporary Protected Status

We ask Congress to grant permanent residence to those Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans who have been here for over a decade under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and have been living in a legal limbo, constantly worried about the stability of their families, households and lives.

TPS class members are protected from deportation, have work authorization and must abide by the laws of this country. Although the status allows them to remain in the U.S., it is temporary and must be renewed by the administration every 18 months. After each renewal, TPS holders must re-register which includes paying all necessary fees, undergo criminal background checks, file tax returns, and demonstrate they are of good moral character.

Although TPS offered relief at a time of uncertainty, its constant reauthorization places TPS class members in an indefinite limbo and limits their ability to fully integrate into U.S. society.  

WHY ACTION IS NEEDED:

*        As its name implies, TPS is intended to be temporary and is in the long-term an obstacle to greater self-sufficiency and stability among these Central American families and communities

*        Costs associated with this renovation are high and burdensome for many families: $465/individual registration, every 18 mos.

*         These families who have lived here for over a decade are in a state of limbo, because they do not know what could happen to them after the 18 month period that their status is valid.

*         The only way to secure a more stable and safe future for them is to enable them to become Permanent Residents and which will consequently, put them on the path to U.S. Citizenship.

*          TPS creates confusion and insecurity in the workplace every time the 18 month period is close to expiring, as employers will start to make threats to fire these workers weeks in advance

*          TPS holders are often times having a difficult time to renew their driver’s license when the work permit expires and before they receive the new one. Unfortunately there is always a lag time between the expiration date that appears on the card and the time when they receive the new card.

*          TPS holders are unable to travel to see their families- parents, children, brothers and sisters,  in their home country, which erodes the unity and stability of families

*          TPS limits the educational opportunities for our youth who under this status cannot access college scholarships because they do not fit into any of the categories eligible for funding.

*          In the case of mixed status families, TPS holders married to a US citizen or permanent resident are not able to adjust their status under the current USCIS procedures, and, every 18 month these families fear separation by a potential ending of the TPS program. 

 

Letter to
Representative Eleanor Norton
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
and 9 others
Senator Mark Warner
Representative Donna Edwards
Representative Chris Van Hollen
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Ben Cardin
Representative Jim Moran
Representative Steny Hoyer
President of the United States
I just signed this petition to Congress:

Dear Member of Congress,

I am writing to request that you support legislation that will regularize the immigration status of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) class members from Central America and put them on a path to permanent residence.

Over ten years ago, natural disasters devastated Central America: Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and earthquakes in 2001. These natural disasters prompted the U.S. executive branch to authorize TPS for nationals of Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Since then, the conditions in the region have not improved. Consequently, multiple administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have continued to extend TPS for nationals from these Central American countries.

TPS class members are protected from deportation, have work authorization and must abide by the laws of this country. Although the status provides the ability to remain in the U.S., it is temporary and must be renewed by the administration every 18 months. After each renewal, TPS holders must re-register which includes paying all necessary fees, undergo criminal background checks, file tax returns, and demonstrate they are of good moral character.

Although TPS offered relief at a time of uncertainty, its constant reauthorization places TPS class members in an indefinite limbo and limits their full integration into U.S. society. Over the past decade, these families and individuals have established deep roots in this country and have strengthened our communities. They are spouses and parents of U.S. citizens and every day they fear separation from their family if the TPS program were to end. They also have family in their home countries who they have not seen in over a decade because they are unable to leave the country. They own homes and have opened businesses in the United States. They are hard workers who pay their taxes and make important economic contributions to this nation. They support their families both here and in their countries of origin through remittances. They are service industry and construction workers, community leaders and activists, and outstanding students, with the desire to continue contributing to the United States of America and ensure a thriving future for our families and communities.

This is why I urge Congress to support legislation that will resolve this limbo and allow TPS class members to remain in the U.S. as permanent residents. I look forward to working with you to make this initiative a reality.

Sincerely,