Denver Newsroom, Sep 15, 2020 / 15:54 pm
Catholic aid groups are expressing disappointment at a recent court decision that furthers the end of temporary protected status for immigrants from certain countries, saying that ending TPS will likely lead to the separation of thousands of families.
The 9th Circuit Appeals Court ruled Sept. 14 that the Trump administration can end the TPS program, which affects several hundred thousand immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, many of whom have children who are American citizens.
TPS is an immigration benefit that allows persons who are unable to return safely to their home countries because of armed conflict, other violence, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions to remain in the United States while the situation in their home country resolves. It protects them from deportation and grants them permission to work.
“We urge the administration and Congress to find solutions that help families affected by TPS to remain together in the United States,” Catholic Charities USA said in a Sept. 15 statement.
“More than 270,000 U.S citizens have parents with TPS. If appeals are not granted, this decision will likely lead to more family separations within our borders.”
Since Congress established temporary protected status in 1990, U.S. immigrants with the designation from countries suffering natural disasters, armed conflict, or other major problems are not deported. There are about 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians, 2,500 Nicaraguans and 1,000 Sudanese in the United States who have temporary protected status.
The Trump administration had terminated the TPS designations of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan in 2017 and 2018. The administration said the residents from the four countries no longer merited TPS, arguing that natural disasters from years previously should not continue to justify irregular residency.
At the time, U.S. bishops from California and Texas spoke out about the DHS decision. Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee, called the decision “heartbreaking.” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles called for a permanent path to residency and citizenship for the affected families.