María Ponce,, 202-394-2139

Issued January 08, 2018

SEIU’s Sáenz: Tragic TPS decision will cause pain for good people, make our nation poorer

WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEIU International Executive Vice President and iAmerica Action President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s decision to end TPS for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the U.S. for an average of 21 years:

“The decision to require nearly 200,000 lawfully present Salvadorans to leave the U.S. by September 9, 2019 is consistent with the pattern set by the Trump administration over the last year. The President and his administration rarely miss an opportunity to cause misery for immigrants, people of color, or working people.

“In this case, they have opted to rip 1/6th of all Salvadoran immigrants from the jobs they have held lawfully for years and the children they have raised as Americans. They have done so despite undisputed evidence that such a mass exodus to El Salvador will be extremely dangerous for those being expelled and destabilizing for the nation they left so long ago. It will also leave gaping holes in the U.S. communities where they have lived for decades, devastating the businesses where they work, the parents who count on them for child care, the neighborhood watches where they volunteer and the churches where they pray.

“SEIU takes this decision personally.  Thousands of people in our communities, our coworkers, our members and their families are now in danger of being forced out of their jobs and into the deportation queue without reason. We are going to be burning up the phone lines to push Congressional action. Congress must get to work immediately to provide relief for these people who have worked lawfully for so long caring for the ill and elderly, cleaning our buildings, teaching our children and generally making our nation a better place to live.

“If members of Congress don’t act now, we will hold them accountable at the ballot box.  SEIU members are ready to build on the success of our 2017 electoral wins in places like Virginia and we are ready to inspire voters to turn out like never before in 2018. We will elect leaders who will protect immigrant families and our communities from President Trump’s racist attacks, stand up for affordable healthcare and fight for the good union jobs our communities need.

“We will do everything we can to replace them with leaders who truly understand that their number one job is to improve people’s lives."