Curbelo Leads Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers to Grant Legal Permanent Resident Status to TPS Migrants
Curbelo, Wilson, Ros-Lehtinen, Hastings bill would grant legal permanent residency to qualified TPS migrants from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti
Today, Representatives Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) and Alcee Hastings (FL-20) introduced bipartisan legislation to grant legal permanent resident status to over 300,000 qualified Nicaraguan, Honduran, Salvadoran and Haitian migrants.
Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti continue to have substantial disruptions of living conditions which has prevented these nations from adequately handling the return of its nationals for many years. Over that time, many of these migrants have established new lives in the United States, contributing to our economy and communities by starting businesses and families. The bipartisan Extending Status Protection for Eligible Refugees (ESPERER) Act would allow qualified migrants that arrived to the United States and received TPS protection prior to January 13, 2011, to adjust their status to legal permanent resident status. ESPERER, means “hope” in French.
A PDF of the legislation is available here.
“While hoping and waiting they would be able to return to their native countries for years, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Honduran and Haitian migrants have become essential parts of the South Florida community by contributing to our local economy and our culture,” Curbelo said. “The continued short-term extensions of TPS have created anxiety and uncertainty not only for these migrants and their families, but also for their employers and neighbors whose prosperity also depends on them. While I will continue to support extensions for Temporary Protected Status, this bipartisan legislation would give these migrants the peace of mind to continue giving back to their communities, contributing to our economy and supporting their families.”
“I am proud to be part of this bipartisan effort to provide a permanent solution for families living in the United States with temporary protected status. I also have introduced a bipartisan measure to extend TPS for Haitian nationals until their country has demonstrably recovered from a plethora of disasters, including an earthquake, a cholera epidemic, a hurricane and other travesties,” said Wilson. “It is in the meantime imperative that we not forget the economic, cultural and other contributions that people living and working in the United States thanks to this measure are making to both to our nation and their native countries. In addition, I reiterate my call to Department of Homeland Security officials to join me on a trip to Haiti to survey firsthand the severe hardships the country continues to endure. There will be no doubt in their minds when they leave that the island nation is in no position to absorb and aid tens of thousands of deportees from the United States.”
“So many in our community who arrived under Temporary Protected Status years ago have made South Florida their home,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “These neighbors have become an integral part of our society and contribute to every sector of our economy. I'm co-sponsoring this bill, introduced by my friend and colleague, Carlos, so that Nicaraguans, Haitians, Salvadorans, and Hondurans who abide by our laws are not anxious about deportation, and can instead continue to contribute to the economic prosperity of our local communities.”
“I continue to work for a full 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals, as well as others living here under TPS,” said Hastings. “I am proud to join today’s bipartisan effort to provide these individuals with a pathway to legal permanent residency in our country. Recipients of TPS are law abiding, hardworking taxpayers, thousands of whom have lived in this country for decades, and who have made tremendous contributions to their communities and to our country. I want thank Representatives Curbelo, Wilson, and Ros-Lehtinen for their diligent work on today’s bill. I call on House Leadership to bring our bill to the floor without delay.”
BACKGROUND ON TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) provides a safe haven for migrants who are unable to return home due to potentially dangerous situations in their native countries – whether it be armed conflict, natural disasters, or other extraordinary circumstances – so long as granting of TPS is consistent with U.S. national interests.
To obtain TPS, eligible migrants report to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), pay a processing fee, and receive registration documents and a work authorization. The major requirements for migrants seeking TPS are proof of eligibility – a passport issued by the designated country, continuous physical presence in the United States since the date TPS went into effect, timely registration, and being otherwise admissible as an immigrant.
Migrants who received TPS are not on an immigration track that leads to permanent residence or citizenship.