Photo: Jesús García / Impremedia
Democratic Senators, led by Bob Menéndez (New Jersey), Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, They asked the Government of President Joe Biden to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for one million immigrants from Central America ddisplaced by insecurity and natural disasters.
“More than a million Central Americans have been displaced by violence and insecurity. Gender-based violence continues to be one of the main drivers of displacement, with rates that increased dramatically throughout 2020, ″ says the letter sent by senators to Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
There are 33 senators signers asking for protection for the people of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as a new TPS designation for Guatemala.
They add that the Central American countries have had setbacks in their democracy, which has increased political persecution, as in Nicaragua.
“The countries of the region have suffered a serious democratic setback and there has been an increase in political persecution, including through the consolidation of a dictatorship in Nicaragua, the dismantling of independent judicial powers, and efforts to intimidate and silence civil society and independent media ”, consider the Senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York).
They noted that the Biden Administration must provide security for Central Americans at this “difficult time.”
“These temporary appointments would give the United States government more time to work with governments and civil society to ensure that the return of large numbers of individuals to Central America does not create further instability and volatility in the region,” they considered.
Senators also expressed concern about the worsening humanitarian conditions in Central America, which are aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.
“The crisis in Central America is urgent … TPS Designations and Reassignments Would Provide Critical Protections for Eligible Beneficiaries and it would allow them to cover the basic needs of their relatives in their countries of origin and to invest in safer alternatives to irregular migration ”, consider the senators.
Signatories also include Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Alex Padilla (California), Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico), Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Cory Booker (New Jersey), Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota).
TPS was established by Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990; currently protects people from Venezuela (at least 323,000 people are eligible); El Salvador (251,567 eligible); Honduras (80,709); Haiti (56,453); Nepal (14,575); Syria (7,010); Nicaragua (4,526); Yemen (1,465), among others.