Nearly 700 Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Organizations Urge White House to Protect Families and Workers

BY ISN STAFF | September 27, 2017

Trump Administration Seeks to Strip the Legal Status of More Than 430,000 Immigrants

Photo by Philip Laubner/Catholic Relief Services

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. and Church World Service delivered a letter to the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke on Monday, September 18, urging her to extend Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for more than 430,000 people. The letter was signed by nearly 700 faith leaders and faith-based organizations from across the country, including the Ignatian Solidarity Network. 

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) provides protection from deportation and work authorization to people from countries that have been deemed too dangerous to return home. Similar to the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was recently terminated, the Trump Administration seeks to strip the legal status of immigrants who have lived and worked in the country for years. TPS holders are parents to nearly 275,000 U.S. citizen children. The vast majority of TPS holders are essential immigrant workers who have long contributed to the United States, filling crucial industries. They are childcare workers, small business owners, gardeners, cooks, builders, store clerks, and janitors.

“Our nation has a moral responsibility to provide continued temporary protection for people who have sought safety from violence and catastrophe,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “We stand with leaders of many faiths in calling on the White House to exhibit patience and compassion.”

Recent decisions to terminate DACA and TPS for Sudan as well as the looming threat to terminate TPS for Haiti mark a sharp turn away from core American values. With deadlines looming for TPS decisions that would affect more than 430,000 people, faith leaders and faith-based organizations are urging the White House to keep these essential workers protected under TPS until Congress can pass a lasting legislative solution. If the president and Acting Secretary Elaine Duke were to terminate their legal status, these immigrants would be forced to leave the country regardless of their family situations and long-standing ties to the United States. TPS holders would be forced to return to countries that are recovering from catastrophic natural disasters, disease, and rampant violence.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published as part of the Ignatian Solidarity Network News From the Network series.

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