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Press Release

Federal Court’s termination of TPS leaves 300,000 in limbo; risks further destabilization of multiple countries

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds today to the decision by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to clear the way for the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from four countries – Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. TPS is a classification meant to provide nationals of countries facing disaster, conflict, or danger with temporary protection from deportation. With this decision, more than 300,000 TPS holders are now at risk of deportation to countries facing insecurity and instability, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision will also likely have implications for TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal who await the outcome of a separate lawsuit.

Honduran, Salvadoran and Haitian immigrants with TPS alone have an estimated 273,000 U.S citizen children. Not only will families be torn apart by this decision, but if deported, these TPS holders may face harm and violence in their countries of origin.

Hans Van de Weerd, the Vice President of Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration at the IRC said:

“The decision to terminate TPS status for these four countries will remove 300,000 people from the United States – separating families and ripping them from neighborhoods they’ve been contributing to and helping build for decades – and put these individuals back in danger in countries not ready to receive them, risking potential further destabilization.

“TPS holders have established their lives in the U.S. In the past 30 years, TPS holders have built families, careers, and communities in the U.S. The court’s ruling endangers the unity of families as parents may be forced to return to their countries of origin and leave their children behind, leaving potentially hundreds of thousands of American children parentless.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many TPS holders from these four countries have been on the frontlines of our nation’s response with little to no relief and living under the fear of deportation. The U.S. must not leave these people behind. Every TPS holder deserves safety and stability.”

The IRC urges the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear this case, and Congress must act to prevent this harmful, and potentially deadly, outcome. There must be a permanent solution for those who are left behind by these and all TPS decisions. The Senate can and should pass the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R.6) to provide permanent protection now.

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.