On Central American Independence Day, Business & Faith Leaders Call For New TPS Designations and Permanent Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2021
CONTACT:
Fernanda Durand (443) 396-3317 [email protected]
Nancy Treviño (786) 201-8958 [email protected] 

 

 

CHICAGO – Today, as various Central American nations and immigrants in the U.S. celebrate their Independence Day, community organizations, national organizations, business leaders, faith leaders, and allies from across the country urge President Biden to issue new Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Additionally, advocates urge the Biden administration to call on Congress to pass legislation to permanently protect all current TPS holders by creating a path to permanent residence. Nine chambers of commerce and faith leaders have issued letters to President Biden and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas calling on them to urge Congress to pass legislation that includes permanent protections for all TPS holders, with more letters being sent throughout the day.

 

September 15 is a day to celebrate the culture and heritage of Central Americans and their legacy in our country. Central Americans have been here for many years, with some contributing to our communities for more than five decades. Nationally, TPS holders and other immigrants paid $492.4 billion dollars in local and state taxes in 2019 and there are currently 3,242,085 immigrant entrepreneurs boosting our economy by creating businesses, jobs, and opportunities in their local communities. TPS holders are involved in governance and politics at the local, state, and national level, volunteer in our communities, and support fellow migrants (especially those who are newly arrived) as they integrate into new communities and engage in political processes, including democratic elections.

 

“For far too long we’ve had neighbors in our communities living in limbo status not knowing what would happen to the lives they’ve built in the United States. As a child of two former Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients I understand the lingering shadow hanging over recipients heads, never knowing when the clock would run out and the life they’ve built would disappear. TPS recipients have been our essential workers, business owners, and community leaders contributing to our growing economy. It’s time to unify support and permanently welcome TPS recipients into the fabric of our proud and diverse American Family,” said Eddie Monroy, Executive Director of the NextGen Chamber of Commerce.

 

“We have an opportunity to provide permanent relief for all TPS holders by extending and re-designating TPS status to our Central American neighbors who have made incredible contributions to this nation. Central Americans are my congregants, my friends, my neighbors and my co-workers. Our communities are deeply shaped by solidarity, faith and compassion. As a man of faith, I am joining the national call to urge Congress to pass legislation that provides permanent protections for all current TPS holders and for the Biden administration to issue new TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua and a first designation for Guatemala. Joining this call is not only in line with our beliefs as members of the faith community, but is also in line with the values our nation was founded upon,” said Rev. Hannah Atkins of Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

 

“I am a proud TPSiano from El Salvador. I have had my TPS status for twenty years and thanks to my TPS, I have been able to start my own construction company. Back in El Salvador, I was an agricultural worker. Central American immigrants like myself contribute to this country every day. I immigrated to the United States looking for a better life for me and my family after the natural disaster of Hurricane Mitch in El Salvador. My family and my business are here now, and I ask the government for continued support for TPS status as well as immigration reform so I could have freedom and be able to visit my father back in El Salvador,” said Domingo del Cid Diaz, CASA Member from Virginia and a TPS holder from El Salvador.

 

“For decades, Central Americans have been a gift to this nation as we share our culture and make countless contributions to communities across the country, making them more prosperous and inclusive. As various Central American nations celebrate their Independence Day today, we must remember and uplift all of the positive impacts Central American migration has had for both the U.S and our home countries. Just under a year ago, Hurricanes Eta and Iota devastated Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The Biden administration recently issued auto extensions for TPS, and now it’s urgent that the administration issue new TPS designations for these nations while calling on Congress to finally pass legislation granting permanent protections for all TPS holders. We’re honored to be joined by business and faith leaders today as they join our call to action,” stated Yanira Arias, National Campaign Manager of Alianza Americas and a TPS holder from El Salvador.

 

“Today, as Central Americans across the country celebrate their Independence Day, we are reminded of the myriad contributions they make to our nation and their home countries. We join business leaders, faith leaders, and allies to not only celebrate Central Americans today, but to urge the Biden administration to once and for all grant new TPS designations to Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, and Guatemala. Granting TPS is just the first step and should lead to immigration policy that grants immigrants the opportunity to apply for permanent residence,” said Juan Umanzor, President of the Salvadoran American Chamber of Commerce of Washington D.C.

 

“We join people of faith all across the U.S. in praying for permanent protections for all TPS holders, especially for Central American TPS holders who are children of God and part of our congregations. Our faith teaches us that we must advocate for the most vulnerable and for humane immigration relief. The U.S. Congress has a historic opportunity to achieve this goal this year in the reconciliation process, and President Biden can use his administrative power to grant new TPS for Central Americans,” said Jose Guillen, Pastor of Iglesia Pentecostal Unida Latinoamericana in Houston, TX.

 

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Alianza Americas is a network of migrant-led organizations working in the United States and transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America.

 

Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group — and the nation’s premier Latinx digital organizing hub — advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture. Presente.org’s mission is to advance Latinx power and create winning campaigns that amplify Latinx voices; expand the political imagination and traditional boundaries; and foster inspiration for freedom, equity, and justice.

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