FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2017
UndocuBlack Network, the Central American Resource Center-Los Angeles (CARECEN-LA) and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) call for permanent solution
UndocuBlack Network, the Central American Resource Center-Los Angeles (CARECEN-LA) and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) strongly condemn the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Nicaragua and for the cowardice of the Administration by way of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the delay of a decision for Honduran nationals.
TPS holders from Honduras and Nicaragua have been living lawfully in the U.S. for over 18 years. They have established homes, families, and careers in spite of the limbo created by insufficient immigration policy priorities and actions of prior administrations. Many TPS holders have been living in the U.S. for over two decades, with TPS being the only opportunity for some asylum-seekers and refugees to obtain some resemblance of stability. To revoke status and force people to leave their homes, families, and communities behind is unjust and inhumane.
The government’s tactless decision to terminate TPS designations for Nicaraguans and to continue to play politics with the lives of Hondurans highlights the failures of the broken U.S. immigration system, and the U.S. government’s destructive foreign policies. Central American asylum-seekers have been methodically denied asylum claims and family unification due to narrow interpretation of asylum laws. The U.S. government exhibits a complete lack of accountability for attracting cheap and exploitable labor to the country, while imposing destructive economic and security policies on Central America.
The U.S. government has undoubtedly influenced the economic, social, and military infrastructures implemented throughout the Caribbean and Central America, and therefore is responsible for many of the current social and security problems in El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras. The abhorrent conditions in the “Northern Triangle” and Haiti are not simply a result of corrupt governments or gang violence. The U.S. bears the brunt of the responsibility for creating these “in-country” conditions, both past and present. The U.S. Department of State and other government officials are incorrect in their assessment that these countries are prepared to receive TPS holders. Further, the lack of a decision for Honduras is antagonistic and misguided. As evidenced by the unprecedented six-month extension of TPS for Haiti earlier this year, the Administration unnecessarily keeps those who seek protection on uneven ground.
The anticipated decision for Honduras therefore needs to be an extension of provisional residency and we reject the decision to terminate for Nicaragua. Moreover, with the decision for Haiti rapidly approaching, DHS must extend TPS for Haitians.
Beyond extensions and redesignations, it is of vital importance to work towards legal permanent residency for the thousands of TPS holders who are undoubtedly U.S. nationals. It is time for the U.S. government to hold itself accountable and seeing that the executive branch is incapable of an honest assessment of its historic and present role in crises throughout Central America and the Caribbean, the onus is now on the legislative branch to bring some measure of accountability and justice to this situation. We urge Members of Congress to take account of the facts and propose honest and quick solutions to the unfair plight of TPS holders.