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NYers Rally for Immigrants at UN

President Trump was in New York City for the opening day of the U.N. General Assembly. (The White House)
President Trump was in New York City for the opening day of the U.N. General Assembly. (The White House)
September 19, 2017

NEW YORK – Hundreds rallied outside U.N. headquarters in New York City on Monday, calling on the Trump administration to extend Temporary Protected Status for thousands of immigrants. The rally coincided with the opening day of the General Assembly.

An estimated 435,000 immigrants from ten different countries have been granted Temporary Protected Status. It allows those who have fled natural disasters, disease or civil war to live and work legally in the United States. Until now, the government has repeatedly renewed each country's TPS for 18 months.

But, according to Daniel Altschuler, director of research and civic engagement at Make the Road New York, that may be changing.

"We already saw with Haiti that it was given a much shorter renewal and there have been statements that have given communities around the country deep concern about the Trump administration's actions and that they may not renew it," he says.

Earlier this year, temporary protected status for Haitians, who have been here since the 2010 earthquake, was extended for only six months and recipients were warned to be prepared to return to Haiti.

Altschuler points out that, while the status is called temporary, many of the issues that gave rise to the status, such as the impact of the earthquake on Haiti, have not been resolved.

"That's why the Trump administration needs to renew TPS as quickly as possible," he stresses. "And should they not, then Congress needs to step into the breach and immediately pass a solution."

TPS for some countries has been renewed consistently for decades, making recipients established, contributing members of their communities here.

Altschuler says this is an international issue and President Trump's arrival in New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly provided an opportunity to make that point.

"If the Trump administration cares about its reputation in the world, how it's engaging with other countries and people from other countries, this is an issue of the utmost importance," he adds.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY