Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Sent By:
Jonathan.Martinez@mail.house.gov

Co-Sponsors (119): Ted Lieu, Karen Bass, Joe Crowley, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jim McGovern, Tom Suozzi, Val Demings, Adriano Espaillat, André Carson, Jimmy Gomez, Juan Vargas, Raul Grijalva, Grace Napolitano, Norma Torres, Michelle
Lujan Grisham, Kathleen Rice, Joaquin Castro, Dwight Evans, Yvette D. Clarke, John Conyers, José Serrano, Elijah Cummings, Carolyn B. Maloney, Mike Quigley, Anthony Brown, Ruben Gallego, Frank Pallone, Zoe Lofgren, Pramila Jayapal, Jan Schakowsky, Peter Welch,
Mark DeSaulnier, John Lewis, Luis Gutierrez, Colleen Hanabusa, Nita Lowey, Adam Smith, Barbara Lee, Michael Capuano, Louise Slaughter, Rick Larsen, Linda Sanchez, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Jimmy Panetta, Katherine Clark, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Suzanne Bonamici,
Mark Pocan, Keith Ellison, Grace Meng, Bobby Scott, Judy Chu, Donald Payne Jr, Gene Green, Doris Matsui, Jamie Raskin, David Cicilline, Matt Cartwright, Don Beyer, Dina Titus, Seth Moulton, Beto O’Rourke, Jacky Rosen, Rosa DeLauro, Ruben Kihuen, Bonnie Watson
Coleman, Hank Johnson, Eliot Engel, Gerald Connolly, Brenda Lawrence, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Betty McCollum, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Chellie Pingree, Alan Lowenthal, Donald McEachin, Donald Norcross, Bill Pascrell, Niki Tsongas, Marc Veasey,
Brad Sherman, Albio Sires, William Keating, Earl Blumenauer, Al Green, Danny K. Davis, Vicente Gonzalez, Ro Khanna, Jared Huffman, Gregory W. Meeks, Ted Deutch, Timothy Walz, Pete Aguilar, John Larson, Alma S. Adams, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, John Yarmuth,
David E. Price, Robin L. Kelly, Darren Soto, Diana DeGette, Mark Takano, Filemon Vela, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Lois Frankel, Anna Eshoo, Salud Carbajal, Joyce Beatty, Brian Higgins, Sander Levin, Ruben Kihuen, Debbie Dingell, Ed Perlmutter, Daniel Kildee, John
Sarbanes, Frederica S. Wilson,
Christopher H. Smith, Jerrold Nadler

 

 

Dear Colleague:

 

There is increasing concern among immigrant communities throughout the United States about their future in this country. Among those living in fear are
people who are in receipt of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Fear has grown exponentially given the way the Trump Administration has handled the TPS program. Since the President took office, his Administration has ended
TPS for SudanNicaraguaHaitiEl
Salvador
Nepal and HondurasThe terminations affect 98%
of the total number of immigrants offered protections under TPS.
 The President has also decided to end the DED program
for Liberians
.

 

As you know, TPS is a form of safe haven for people fleeing dangerous situations, but who are not
considered refugees under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA requires that this special status be considered in very limited circumstances—and can only be granted when a country is experiencing: (1) armed conflict; (2) is formally requested
by the foreign state because of its inability to handle the return of its nationals because of natural disasters; or (3) because the foreign state is experiencing extraordinary and temporary conditions.

 

Previous TPS and DED designations have led some to “graduate out” of status because conditions were temporary. But when conditions fail to improve sufficiently after a prolonged period of time, it is likely that a country will be unable to absorb their nationals.
With that in mind, Congress should provide legal immigration status to people that have lived here for a significant period of time because conditions have not sufficiently improved in their home country. Some TPS beneficiaries have lived
in the U.S. for almost 2 decades! A recent study suggests that 80.3% of TPS holders from Central America pay taxes, including 79.3% of people who are self-employed. In that study, the average TPS
holder contributed funds to social security for 15.4 years. To turn around and say that these people are “no longer welcome here” is cruel, unjust and completely unnecessary. It is also expensive: a case study suggests that deportation of
300,000 TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti would cost the U.S. government over $3 billion. Deportation
of all current TPS and DED holders would naturally increase the $3 billion cost to American taxpayers.

 

Keeping persons with TPS and DED in our country is good for our economy and in our national interest. As such, they should also be eligible for a path to residency and citizenship. These people have worked hard and throughout their time in the United States
and have not imposed a burden on American taxpayers—TPS holders are ineligible for most federal public benefit programs. Both Secretary
Nielsen
 and her predecessor, Acting Secretary Duke, have made it clear that Congress must provide legislative relief to
TPS recipients.  

 

Last night,
TPS recipients were given temporary reprieve
 under a
preliminary injunction
.
 This alone, however, is not enough–Congress must act. For these reasons I encourage you to support H.R. 4253, the American Promise Act, which provides legal permanent residence for
TPS and DED recipients if they demonstrate continuous physical presence for at least 3 years prior to the Act’s enactment, so long as they meet admissibility criteria. A physical presence waiver is provided for people with either status who fail to meet the
3-year requirement, so long as the DHS Secretary or Attorney General determine that extreme hardship exists for recipient or their family. In addition, the bill provides a pathway to citizenship so long as they meet the naturalization requirements. Lastly,
the legislation also aims to foster accountability in the Executive branch by requiring clearer explanations of TPS terminations and a country’s ability to repatriate its nationals.

 

I hope you will join me in supporting legislation to benefit hardworking TPS and DED recipients. If you have questions on the legislation or would like to co-sponsor, please contact Jonathan Martinez on my staff at Jonathan.Martinez@mail.house.gov

 

Sincerely,

 

Nydia M. Velázquez

Member of Congress

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