[Episcopal Public Policy Network policy alert] In the next year, the Secretary of Homeland Security must decide whether or not to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to approximately 320,000 individuals. TPS is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing environmental disasters or armed conflict. TPS is granted when returning home – via departure or deportation – would place those nationals at risk, or if the foreign government’s ability to absorb the return of its nationals is compromised. TPS has been a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of individuals already in the United States when problems in a home country suddenly make return untenable.
Countries with current TPS designations include South Sudan, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, El Salvador, Syria, Nepal, Yemen and Somalia. The administration terminated TPS for Sudan last month. TPS holders receive protection from deportation and work authorization to support themselves while they remain in the U.S. Over the years, as conditions in their home countries have not improved, many TPS beneficiaries have stayed, with legal permission, and built lives in the U.S. Sending TPS beneficiaries back to the unstable conditions in their home countries presents grave concerns for families, our local economies, and the stability of receiving countries.
Policy passed by The Episcopal Church’s General Convention advocates for the designation of TPS for all immigrants fleeing for refuge from violence, environmental disaster, economic devastation, cultural abuse or other forms of abuse.