More than 320,000 immigrants have permission to live and work in our country today due to a form of humanitarian relief called Temporary Protected Status (TPS.) Since 1990, TPS has been granted to nationals of countries that have been embroiled in violent conflict or suffered a natural disaster so that they will not be returned to harm’s way. Currently, nationals from the following 10 countries have TPS status: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Nationals from Liberia have a similar protected status called Deferred Enforced Departure.
The majority of TPS beneficiaries have been contributing to our communities and our economy for more than 15 years, but their status is now at risk. The Trump administration has ended TPS for most of these countries, which would effectively strip away work authorization for hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of union members. Several lawsuits have challenged the termination of TPS in court and temporarily delayed the termination of TPS for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. But the courts cannot provide a permanent solution. Only Congress can provide residency and a path to citizenship for TPS holders.
Where do TPS holders live?
TPS holders reside all over the U.S. Most TPS holders from El Salvador live in the Washington, DC (32,359), Los Angeles (30,415) and New York (23,168) metropolitan areas. Honduran TPS holders live mostly in the New York (8,818), Miami (7,467) and Houston (6,060) metropolitan areas. Haitian TPS holders live mainly in the Miami (16,287), New York (9,402) and Boston (4,302) metropolitan areas.
As looming TPS renewal deadlines for additional countries threaten the work authorization status of large numbers of union members and working people, the labor movement must take a strong stand in support of this humanitarian program. We must send a clear message to the administration and all elected officials that failure to renew TPS designations will actively harm our economy, our communities, and our unions. We want more working people to have rights on the job, not fewer.
UNITE HERE has joined with six other unions to fight for a permanent solution to Temporary Protected Status: residency status and a path to citizenship. Find out more about what we are doing to protect our UNITE HERE families with TPS.