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Immigration

Senate Democrats ask for Temporary Protected Status for migrants from four countries

Over 30 senators are asking for TPS for immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua

The United States Capitol Building
The United States Capitol Building | Shutterstock

January 14, 2022 6:36am

Updated: January 14, 2022 5:48pm

Senate Democrats asked the Biden administration to allow two million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and prevent their deportation by granting them Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Over 30 senators, including Robert Menendez and Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking them to grant TPS to immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

TPS allows people who are already in the U.S. to stay and work if their country of origin has been affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other events that prevent them from returning safely.

"It is our assessment that the severe damage caused by back-to-back hurricanes just over one year ago, combined with extreme drought conditions, and the social and economic crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, warrant such an action by the administration," wrote the senators.

TPS is issued by the secretary of homeland security and can last up to 18 months. They can be renewed indefinitely.

Currently, there are around 300,000 migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua that have TPS. The new proposal would add 2 million more and would include migrants from Guatemala.  

“TPS is a humanitarian tool used by both Democratic and Republican administrations to provide relief for individuals who are unable to return to their countries facing extraordinary conditions. The Biden administration must act and provide certainty for eligible individuals from Central America during this challenging moment,” read the letter.