Temporary Protective Status
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is a conditional status granted to undocumented people in the United States who cannot return to their home country because of civil strife or natural disaster. It is granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security on a case-by-case basis and allows the recipient protection from deportation and a work permit.
For CARECEN, obtaining TPS for Central Americans without status has been a landmark achievement, as it was the result of many years of advocacy in the courts and in government on behalf of people who had fled Central America because of civil war during the 1980s and 1990s but then were denied political asylum. People from El Salvador were the first designated to receive TPS from 1991 to 1992. They received TPS designation again after A second wave of applicants were able to obtain TPS because of devastating earthquakes that struck El Salvador in January and February 2001. People from Nicaragua and Honduras were both granted TPS in 1999 in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.
After more than a decade and a half, CARECEN organizations across the country are pursuing a national campaign to win Legal Permanent Residency for Central American communities that have been living with only TPS.
To maintain their status, these recipients had to register with the government, keep up with their taxes, undergo a background check and pay a fee of almost $500 every year and a half to two years, and do everything else required by immigration authorities. We believe TPS recipients have earned the chance to become lawful permanent residents. Every time they have renewed their status, they have shown they are individuals of good moral character.
We came together to support vibrant futures for families that not only have contributed to our national economy, but have been a critical and positive force in the reconstruction of their home countries by sending remittances to family members. Permanent Residency will end the uncertainty and legal limbo that these thousands of families are living in every day. It is the only viable way to help them reunite, to ensure their economic and social stability, and to safeguard the progress of our communities and nation.
We are making a call to all members of the community, legislators, community organizations and activists, congregations and faith leaders, unions, and all those who support a fair and viable solution for immigrant families in the U.S., to come together and support this campaign.