(BROOKLYN, New York): Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has welcomed the recent Trump Administration’s decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that is bound to affect a significant number of constituents in her 9th Congressional District. And while she’s no supporter of the Republican-led Administration in Washington, Clarke has decided to give “Jack his Jacket” in this case.
“We can no longer afford to play political games with people’s lives. We need comprehensive immigration reform that protects DREAMers, TPS and DED beneficiaries,” said Clarke.
Temporary Protected Status or TPS is part of the Federal Immigration Act of 1990, which provides temporary protected status to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary but temporary conditions.
TPS currently protects the rights of more than 50,000 Haitian immigrants and their families to live and work in the United States after that CARICOM nation was destroyed by a Category 5 earthquake in 2010. About 5,400 TPS bebeficiaries ans their children now live in New York City, mostly in Flatbush, Canarsie, Crown Heights, and East Flatbush sections of Brooklyn, as well as in the Queens neighborhoods of Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, Jamaica and Rosedale.
Originally. the Trump Administration announced plans to deport the Haitians and those from other nations under TPS in July 2018. This sparked heavy criticism and condemnation from Congresswoman Clarke and her fellow Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But late last week, the Department of Homeland Security filed notice that it is extending TPS for nationals from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Sudan until January 2, 2020. The notice, published in the Federal Register on March 1, said the extension was in response to a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in a lawsuit challenging plans to end the special status for migrants from the four countries.
“To be clear, the Trump Administration was forced to act due to ongoing litigation spearheaded by TPS holders. While I welcome this news, this temporary stop-gap still leaves far too many families in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety,” said Clarke.
TPS beneficiaries from these four nations will retain their status while the preliminary injunction remains in effect, as long as an individual’s TPS is not withdrawn because of individual ineligibility.
Still worrying for immigration advocates is the fact that there has been no reprieve under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program for recipients from Liberia who face deportation action in the coming weeks. DED protections for Liberian nationals are scheduled to expire March 31.
“Additionally, thousands of DED holders will lose their status in the coming weeks. I urge the Administration to also act on their behalf without delay,” added Clarke. The TPS news comes as House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), plan to re-introduce the Dream Act on March 12 with new language providing protections for both TPS and DED recipients.
“That’s why I am proud to be a co-lead on the DREAM and Promise Act (HR 6). This bill will include a path to citizenship for Dreamers, as well as for people covered by Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). This bill builds upon the DREAM Act, the American Promise Act, and the ASPIRE TPS Act, which I introduced during the last Congress,” she explained.