Menendez urges Biden to pass TPS

In a letter signed by 32 of his Senate Democratic colleagues, Senator Bob Menéndez formally asked the Biden Administration to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua as soon as possible, as well as a new one. TPS designation for Guatemala.

The document was addressed on Monday to the Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, and the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the press was informed.

Said group of senators expressed their grave concern over the worsening of humanitarian conditions throughout Central America, which, as they indicated, “has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple and devastating natural disasters, which contributed to an increase in emigration from the region ”.

“The crisis in Central America is urgent … TPS designations and reassignments would provide critical protections for eligible beneficiaries and allow them to meet the basic needs of their family members in their countries of origin and invest in safer alternatives to irregular migration,” argued the senators.

“It is our assessment that the serious damage caused by the consecutive hurricanes just over a year ago, combined with the extreme drought conditions and the social and economic crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, justify this action by the Administration ”They added in the letter.

Established by the US Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990, TPS is a temporary and renewable program that provides relief from deportation and access to a work permit to people from certain countries who are unable to return to their country. of origin due to natural disasters, armed conflicts or other extraordinary conditions.

“More than a million Central Americans have been displaced by violence and insecurity. Gender-based violence remains one of the main drivers of displacement, with rates increasing dramatically throughout 2020,” the senators explain in the document.

Likewise, they point out that the countries of the region “have suffered a serious democratic setback and there has been an increase in political persecution.

In this regard, they mention “the consolidation of a dictatorship in Nicaragua, the dismantling of the independent judicial powers, and the efforts to intimidate and silence civil society and the independent media.”

At its core, the document urges the Biden government to “act and provide security to eligible people in Central America during this difficult time.”

“These temporary designations would give the United States government more time to work with governments and civil society to ensure that the return of large numbers of migrants to Central America does not establish further instability and volatility in the region.”