The US Must Continue to Protect, Rather Than Force People to Return to Unsafe Conditions

15 September 2020

Yesterday, a federal appeals court ruled that the Administration can end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for some 300,000 immigrants living in the United States, clearing the way for their deportation as early as January. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA urges the Administration to continue offering protection to TPS holders, rather than return them to unsafe and dangerous conditions.

Created in 1990 by Congress, TPS offers critical protection to individuals from specifically designated countries that are confronting ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or conditions that prevent them from returning in safety.

“Temporary Protected Status serves as a lifeline for those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, protecting them from deportation and granting them the right to work in the US,” said Joan Rosenhauer, JRS/USA Executive Director. “We must continue to protect and welcome TPS recipients, who have been legally living and contributing to communities in the US.”

This recent court decision will affect individuals and families from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, many of whom have lived in the US for decades. Since 2017, the Administration has taken steps to terminate TPS for these communities. As a result, several TPS beneficiaries filed a lawsuit challenging the terminations.

In these challenging times as the world struggles with a global health pandemic, environmental crises, and strained resources impacting livelihoods, TPS serves as an important protection measure for those who need it most. This is not the time to abandon families, but instead the US must work alongside forcibly displaced people to find permanent pathways for their long-term safety and security.

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