Issued October 29, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEIU International Executive Vice President and iAmerica President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement regarding news reports that the Trump administration reached an agreement with El Salvador to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans living in the U.S for 365 days after the completion of the TPS lawsuits. The agreement extends work permits for Salvadorans with TPS until January 2021. The announcement was made just days after a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled the Trump administration has the authority to terminate Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians living in the U.S., which may force an estimated 4,000 people to leave the country by March 2020:
"People with TPS and DED have been living in a state of uncertainty ever since this administration began terminating their designations almost two years ago. Like all working people, they simply want a shot at the American Dream: good union jobs, healthy families, affordable schools, and respect for the dignity of work. This includes SEIU members who are powerful leaders in our union, and integral to the care and service workforce in this country.
“While we are relieved that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to temporarily extend TPS for Salvadorans, who have lived and worked legally in the U.S. for so many years, even decades, a one-year reprieve to prepare for deportation and family separation is not the solution that Salvadorans deserve and Americans want.
"And now Liberians living in the U.S. with DED are being told they have no legal recourse when their status expires next March. This means that unless DED is extended or otherwise affected by an appeal, thousands of families will be forced to go back to a country still recovering from back-to-back civil wars.
“We need a permanent solution to end all of this chaos, and that solution is in the hands of the United States Senate. This past June, the House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act, which would give people with TPS and DED the opportunity to earn permanent residency, and eventually their citizenship.
“But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been sitting on his hands refusing to give the Dream and Promise Act an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. SEIU members will continue to demand a vote for this important legislation so that all working people and their loved ones–no matter where we were born–can have economic stability and security for their families.”