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Support Growing for Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status

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Monday, December 4, 2017   

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- As the Trump administration moves forward with plans to end the protected status of thousands of immigrants who fled conflicts and disasters in their home countries, local governments are passing their own resolutions calling for the temporary protections to stay.

The Department of Homeland Security already has ended protections for refugees from Nicaragua, as well as for those from Haiti - the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake. Abel Nunez, executive director at the Central American Resource Center, said the DelMarVa area has a high concentration of those who sought refuge and built lives and are now contributing to society in the U.S.

"There have been a lot of jurisdictions, you know, Mount Rainier, Hyattsville, Brentwood have passed resolutions; you know, Prince George's County. Baltimore City just passed a resolution as well,” Nunez said. “And I think that they are responding to the needs of their community."

While local support remains strong, critics argue the system is being abused, as designations for Hondurans and Nicaraguans have both been extended for nearly two decades. Homeland Security is expected to announce this month whether it also will end or will extend the protections of the nearly 200,000 people under temporary protective status from El Salvador.

So far, 23 local governments across the country have passed their own resolutions to protect the humanitarian program.

Yanira Arias, a TPS holder from El Salvador, also serves as the national campaign manager for Alianza Americas. Arias said she believes in the power of local governments, because they are on the front lines, interacting with TPS holders in their communities.

"Municipalities, they know firsthand why TPS is such a vital program, not just for the economy but for the deep roots that TPS holders have in the community as parents, as members of communities of faith,” Arias said.

According to Alianza Americas, it would cost the federal government $3.1 billion to deport all TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.


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