Work permits for Salvadorans with TPS to remain valid through January 2021

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

Work permits for Salvadorans with TPS to remain valid through January 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yari Aquino: alianza@berlinrosen.com

This measure is part of several “arrangements” signed between the governments of El Salvador and the United States of America

Chicago, IL, October 28, 2019 — Today the governments of the United States and El Salvador signed several arrangements, including one that provides more time for Salvadoran nationals in the US who have been protected for many years by Temporary Protected Status to continue to be authorized for employment in the US. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, has issued the following statement in response to this news:

“The apparent decision by the US Government to extend work authorizations for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from El Salvador by one year, comes as a welcome development for the nearly 200,000 Salvadoran nationals who remain protected by a TPS designation granted in March of 2001 by President George W. Bush. It will be important to analyze the details of that decision, announced over social media this morning by Ronald D. Johnson, the US ambassador there, and President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele. 

At a minimum, it proves the fact that immigration relief programs such as TPS, Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) could be kept in place, which is contrary to what the Trump Administration had argued up to now. The wisest thing to do with all temporary protection programs is to keep them in place until the US Congress finds the courage to grant the beneficiaries of these programs an opportunity to apply for permanent residency visas. Beneficiaries of TPS, DED, and DACA are all individuals who have become part of our nation’s economic, social and cultural fabric.

As Alianza Americas, we interpret this decision as motivation to redouble our efforts to achieve policy reforms that allow immigrant communities to be recognized for what they are: indispensable members of US society and crucial contributors to the wellbeing of millions of households in their countries of origin via billions of dollars they send home every year in family remittances. Although a small victory, we celebrate this decision as a defeat for the white supremacist and anti-immigrant agenda that has emanated from the White House to date. That agenda, personified by presidential advisor Steven Miller, has driven relentless efforts to stop immigration, end refugee resettlement, and end humanitarian protections.

We will now work even harder to educate the US public and federal policy makers about the urgency of wise and visionary changes in US Immigration Policy. We will continue to call on US policy makers to reject the so called “Asylum Cooperation Agreements” recently signed by the Trump Administration with Central American nations. Instead of addressing the factors that push so many Central American nationals to flee their countries, these agreements are a tool to keep people in harm’s way

In the short term, what Central Americans need is protection and support. The best way the US can help this situation is by respecting the right for people to seek humanitarian protection. In the medium to long haul, the US government must radically reassess its foreign policy towards Central American nations in a way that allows for profound changes to reverse economic and social inequalities. Only then can we address the most serious obstacles to making Central American countries places where people truly want to stay

It is also important to recognize that tweets are not policy. Above and beyond a press statement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must immediately provide detailed guidance on the steps TPS holders must follow in order to benefit from the 12 month relief. Until then, we urge TPS holders to seek reliable and trusted sources of information to avoid becoming victims of scams or overblown promises. We encourage TPS holders to visit or call one of our organizational members to clarify any questions or to get involved in the local campaigns for a legislative solution to protect all TPS holders and their families; for a full list of our members visit https://www.alianzaamericas.org/save-tps/

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.

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