So, What Is TPS, Anyway?

Filed under Immigration

Five things to know about the lesser-known Temporary Protected Status program.

Since 2016, the Department of Homeland Security has rolled back Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, protections for more than 300,000 residents living legally in the United States for years. The Dream and Promise Act of 2019 would restore those protections and provide a reasonable path to citizenship.

Here, a primer on this vulnerable population:

1. Who Gets TPS?

Recipients of TPS come from Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan. They live in the United States legally, pay taxes, and contribute to our communities and economy. Many TPS recipients are construction supervisors and home health care professionals who aren’t easily replaced. They are parents to hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children—and there is no plan to address the potential break-up of these families.

2. Mass Deportation Is Bad for the Economy

Here’s one reason the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has opposed revoking TPS: Laying off hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients simultaneously would cost employers some $1 billion in immediate turnover costs. It would cost the U.S. an estimated $164 billion in Gross Domestic Product. And, given that a significant percentage of TPS recipients are homeowners, it would destabilize U.S. housing markets when 60,000 mortgages are dumped at the same time.

3. Deportation Is Bad for National Security

The termination of TPS would further destabilize fragile countries in our neighborhood. With remittances making up more than 15 percent of the GDP of TPS-designated countries, the sudden loss would put an added strain on the U.S. foreign aid budget while families who have long relied on this money will have no other option than to attempt to come to the U.S. as undocumented workers.

4. TPS Countries Aren’t Ready to Receive So Many People

In Haiti, forcing the return of 50,000 people would disrupt the country’s fragile recovery, exacerbate the food, housing, and public health crises, and potentially destabilize the new government. In El Salvador and Honduras, the return of over 250,000 people would strain government services and lead to job displacement in countries besieged by violence, narcotics trafficking, and weak institutions.

5. TPS Recipients Are Thoroughly Vetted

TPS holders living in the United States pass a background check at least every 18 months. For example, Hondurans with TPS status have been vetted more than a dozen times since entering the United States.

Call Your Representatives in Congress

Tell them to co-sponsor and vote Yes on The Dream and Promise Act of 2019

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