Press Releases

Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) to urge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include employment protections for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients in the next coronavirus relief package. Following today’s ruling by the 9th Circuit Court allowing the Trump administration to end Temporary Protected Status for recipients from El Salvador, Sudan, Nicaragua and Haiti, Congressional action would help provide certainty for TPS recipients and allow them to continue to work, many of them in essential jobs during the pandemic. 

Right now, 131,100 TPS recipients are serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, including more than 6,600 in Maryland – but the Trump Administration’s attacks on TPS recipients have created uncertainty surrounding their status and ability to work. 400,000 TPS recipients, many of whom have been in the United States for upwards of two decades, need automatic employment authorization document (EAD) extensions to continue working amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Automatically extending TPS EADs during the pandemic will help TPS recipients feel a sense of stability while we work toward our larger goal of creating a pathway to citizenship for these longtime residents of the United States,” the senators wrote.

Last year, recognizing the important contributions that TPS recipients and their families make in their communities, the senators introduced the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency (SECURE) Act to provide TPS recipients with the opportunity to apply for permanent residency and be on the pathway to citizenship.

“There are over 400,000 TPS recipients in the United States and the majority have lived in the United States for over two decades. They have started businesses and families and are integral members of their communities. Approximately 131,000 TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras are essential critical infrastructure workers. These TPS recipients are critical to our pandemic response. They are putting themselves at risk to ensure the safety and health of our nation,” the senators press. “TPS employment authorization documents should be automatically extended during the pandemic in order to minimize disruption while these essential workers help our nation through this crisis.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below.

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,

We urge you to include automatic employment authorization document (EAD) extensions for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in the next coronavirus relief package. The Trump administration has revoked or declined to renew TPS for over 400,000 TPS recipients and they should not face uncertainty regarding their immigration status or ability to work in the midst of a global pandemic.

We introduced the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency (SECURE) Act in 2019 to provide TPS recipients the ability to apply for permanent resident status and be on a pathway to citizenship. We recognize the important contributions of TPS recipients and their families in their communities every day across the nation. Automatically extending TPS EADs during the pandemic will help TPS recipients feel a sense of stability while we work toward our larger goal of creating a pathway to citizenship for these longtime residents of the United States.

There are over 400,000 TPS recipients in the United States and the majority have lived in the United States for over two decades. They have started businesses and families and are integral members of their communities. Approximately 131,000 TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras are essential critical infrastructure workers. These TPS recipients are critical to our pandemic response. They are putting themselves at risk to ensure the safety and health of our nation. TPS employment authorization documents should be automatically extended during the pandemic in order to minimize disruption while these essential workers help our nation through this crisis.

Over three months ago, the House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act which included these crucial EAD extensions and we urge you to include similar language in any future negotiated package. We look forward to working with you to ensure that TPS recipients and their families do not have to worry about their immigration status.

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