Marchers demanding the Biden administration make progress on immigration reform, including Temporary Protected Status for Cameroonians living in the U.S. – Washington, D.C. – May 1, 2021 (Shutterstock)
Thirty mayors from across the country sent a letter to the Biden Administration today requesting that they designate or redesignate 15 countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The countries include: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Sudan.
The letter explains how designation and redesignation of TPS for these countries could offer protection from deportation as well as employment authorization for approximately 2 million immigrants currently residing in the U.S.
The letter emphasizes how TPS is a valuable tool that would protect many long-standing community members from being returned to dangerous country conditions and offer them critical employment authorization in the U.S., while also working towards advancing racial justice in local communities and facilitating COVID-19 recovery efforts.
As the Biden administration considers designations and redesignations for various countries (including those whose TPS designation was terminated by the Trump administration), local government leaders urge the administration to act rapidly in providing critical protections to the millions of immigrants residing in their communities. The letter emphasizes how such protections would align with the administration’s vision of a fair, functional, and humane immigration system.
New York, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio: “As we look to build a just recovery for our City, we must remember that many of our immigrant neighbors do not have stable immigration status. TPS designations for an additional 15 countries would provide peace of mind to these New Yorkers and their families. We urge President Biden to deliver this measure of stability for those who have sought out NYC and other cities across the nation for refuge.”
Boston, MA Mayor Kim Janey: “TPS provides vital humanitarian relief, most recently needed for the situations in Afghanistan and Haiti, and Boston is proud to lead this effort with Cities for Action and mayors from around the country. New TPS designations and redesignations will keep families together and authorize work opportunities, which means increased economic stability and contributions to all cities. This is crucial to Boston’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, and I urge the Biden administration to take swift action on TPS now.”
Framingham, MA Mayor Dr. Yvonne M. Spicer: “The City of Framingham, MA and our municipal colleagues across the country work every day to protect those most vulnerable. Our federal policies should seek to do the same and support those efforts through its TPS designations. In a time when the world is more interconnected than ever, as we have experienced with the impact of COVID-19 and climate change, it is not only the smart, but the moral thing to do.”
College Park, MD Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn: “The City of College Park has a long history of welcoming immigrants, including TPS holders, and building an inclusive community that celebrates its diversity. Our city’s TPS residents include families from various countries, representing many cultural traditions, religions, and languages. College Park has benefitted from the significant contributions of its TPS residents, who have gone on to become business owners, homeowners, and long-standing members of our community. I am proud to join Cities for Action and mayors from around the country in calling on the Biden administration to strengthen and expand TPS protections that will keep families together and boost pandemic recovery efforts.”
Mount Rainier, MD Mayor Celina R. Benitez: “As the first Salvadoran and Latina Mayor of Mount Rainier, I am proud to serve our diverse and enriched community, which includes many TPS holders. Our TPS holders are homeowners, business owners, parents and volunteers contributing to the vitality of our economy, but more importantly, they are our friends and neighbors who make our community stronger. Mount Rainier enthusiastically and proudly supports additional TPS designations and redesignations that will keep families together, provide critical protections to vulnerable populations, and boost pandemic recovery efforts across the country.”
Somerset, MD Mayor Jeffrey Slavin: “TPS holders in Somerset are long-standing community members who make our town stronger and more vibrant. I am proud to join Cities for Action and mayors from around the country in calling on the Biden administration to strengthen and expand TPS protections. Protecting current TPS holders and designating new countries for TPS will help keep families together, fortify the workforce, and advance a fair and humane immigration system.”
Minneapolis, MN Mayor Jacob Frey: “Minneapolis has a proud tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees, whose rich cultural traditions contribute to the greater vibrancy of our city. As a country, we need to do everything within our power to ensure that as we continue welcoming refugees, they are provided the dignity, legal protections, and support all residents should expect. TPS designation and re-designation play a key part in achieving those goals.”
Philadelphia, PA Mayor Jim Kenney: “Philadelphia is home to many long-time residents that come from these 15 countries that have been impacted by war, trauma, civil unrest and climate catastrophes. Our country is more successful when we can provide protection from deportation and employment authorization to our residents so we can keep families together and they can provide for themselves and their families. These TPS designations will also advance racial justice within our immigration system as many of these countries have been left out by the prior administration’s xenophobic and racist policies. This is about course-correcting. Again, as local leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that all our residents feel safe and supported in our cities.”