Alianza Americas Denounces Department of State Assessment on Temporary Protected Status

Sara McElmurry, 312-351-3890

Alianza Americas Denounces Department of State Assessment on Temporary Protected Status

Alianza Americas, a national network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing 100,000 families across the United States, denounces the State Department’s conclusions on Temporary Protected Status (TPS), reported on Friday by the Washington Post. The agency’s recommendation that TPS be cancelled for more than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians runs counter to the well-documented reports of precarious conditions in these countries.

Instead of reflecting the tenuous and complex economic, social and political realities in each of these nations, the opinion seems designed to simply satisfy the xenophobic and racist ideologues who seem to be in charge of all matters related to immigrants and immigration within the Trump Administration.

Alianza Americas has led four delegations of elected officials, community leaders and issue experts to the region between 2014 and 2016, and has documented first-hand the escalating violence, deep poverty, compromised infrastructure, and vulnerability to natural disasters that continues to drive tens of thousands of women, children, and families to flee their homes.

These same dire conditions will await returned TPS holders. Organizations in Central America have reported instances of gang members waiting for returnees right outside of processing centers in their country of origin. Returned migrants are especially vulnerable to extortion, a reality that saps $600 million from families in El Salvador and Honduras each year.

Conditions in these countries would be even more dire were it not for the remittance money that TPS recipients have sent to support family and friends over the years. Removing this economic lifeline  in places where few other economic opportunities further destabilize the region.

Alianza Americas calls on DHS to continue renewing the protected status that has allowed people from these volatile nations to build safe, stable, and productive lives in the United States for decades. We also call on Congress to find the courage and political will to build a legislative pathway that will recognize what these individuals are: permanent residents of the United States.

Additional Information & Interviews:

  • Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, is available for interviews on the political, economic, and transnational implications of ending TPS programs.
  • Neesa Medina, an internationally-recognized women’s rights advocate from Honduras, is available for comment about in-country conditions and escalating gender-based violence in Central American nations.
  • Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian Women of Miami (FANM), an Alianza Americas member organization, is available for comment on in-country conditions in Haiti.
  • “Seeking Safety: Finding Violence, Detention, and Deportation Along the Mesoamerican Migration Cooridor” is 2016 report from an Alianza Americas delegation to Honduras and El Salvador that details the realities of violence, poverty, and government impunity in these nations.