Issued September 21, 2023
WASHINGTON – Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement in response to news that the Biden administration will make more Venezuelans who live in the U.S. eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
"We hail today’s announcement from the Biden administration expanding TPS for Venezuela, which will bring critically needed relief to working people across our country who have fled unsafe conditions in that country. We also see this as a major step towards a more humane immigration system, which of course is long overdue. We are grateful that the Biden Administration heeded our urgent call, combined with that of mayors, governors, business leaders, labor unions, nonprofits, and faith leaders, to take action and provide this relief for Venezuelans. TPS will allow these hard-working people to work legally and support themselves and their families, which will help alleviate the current strain on cities and states where they have settled.”
"For the exact same reasons, and more, it is imperative for the administration to move immediately and decisively to redesignate other countries whose nationals cannot safely return, including El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, Guatemala, and Mauritania, among others. Most of the people from these countries have lived here for years, working and contributing to our economy. They were here for the rest of the nation during the depths of the pandemic, and like Venezuelans, they can't safely return to their home countries. Extending TPS for those countries would free them to work legally in businesses experiencing tight labor markets, while also preventing abusive employers from taking advantage of their immigration status. This, in turn, would also boost the economy for all by helping to bring down costs for goods and services and expanding our tax base.”