5 Things to Know Right Now About TPS


The Temporary Protected Status program, which allows refugees to seek asylum, is under fire.

On November 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 50,000 Haitians who have been living legally in America for years. The announcement follows recent actions to terminate TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans and a delay on a decision for 57,000 Hondurans living in the United States.

TPS allows individuals from countries facing extreme hardship from natural disasters or armed conflict to earn the opportunity to work legally in the United States after being thoroughly vetted. Congress must enact a permanent solution in recognition of the TPS holders who have worked legally in the United States for many decades. Without action, hundreds of thousands of immigrants are under threat of deportation, and families will be torn apart.

Read on for five more things to know about TPS.

  1. TPS recipients are in the United States legally.

    The 300,000 Honduran, Nicaraguan, Haitian, and Salvadoran TPS recipients are hardworking individuals here in the United States legally who pay taxes and contribute to our communities and economy—many of whom are construction supervisors and home health care professionals who aren’t easily replaced. Currently, many in the construction industry are helping the recovery efforts in Florida and Houston following the hurricanes. They are parents to nearly 275,000 U.S. citizen children and there is no plan to address the break up of these families.

  2. Mass deportation of TPS recipients is bad for the economy.

    This is one reason the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes revoking TPS right now. The near simultaneous layoffs of 250,000 TPS recipients currently employed—working an average 40-45 hours per week—will cost employers nearly $1 billion in immediate turnover costs. It will cost the U.S. an estimated $164 billion in Gross Domestic Product. And, given that 30% of TPS recipients are homeowners, it will destabilize U.S. housing markets when 60,000 mortgages are dumped at the same time.

  3. Deportation of TPS recipients is bad for regional stability and U.S. national security.

    The termination of TPS will further destabilize fragile countries in our neighborhood. With remittances making up more than 15% of the GDP of TPS-designated countries, the sudden loss will 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 designated home countries are not yet ready to receive the 300,000 TPS recipients.

    In Haiti, forcing the return of 50,000 people would disrupt the 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 13 times.