Durbin, Duckworth Join Colleagues on Letter to McConnell to Support TPS Holders

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and 23 of their Senate colleagues sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in support of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. The letter requests that an 18 month extension of status for TPS holders be included in the December appropriations package. Like millions across the country, TPS holders are facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. They also carry the additional burden of fear and uncertainty that they may need to leave the country as soon as March 2021 because of the actions of the Trump Administration. More than 130,000 TPS holders are essential workers, and hundreds of thousands of US citizen children have parents with TPS.

The lawmakers wrote, “We write today to urge you to include extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and related employment authorizations to current TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Honduras in the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations package or next continuing resolution. Hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients, many of whom have lived in the United States for more than 20 years, are facing the pandemic and an economic recession while also fearing the need to leave the United States.” 

“Months into the coronavirus pandemic, essential workers are clearly vital to our country’s response,” the lawmakers continued. “More than 130,000 TPS recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti are essential workers, serving in positions in the health care, food, transportation, and other sectors that the Department of Homeland Security has labeled ‘needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and that need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.’ These workers do not have the option to stay at home, and instead are putting their own health and the health of their families at risk in order to serve their communities.”

Full text of the letter can be found here