MIAMI – Venezuelan and Haitian leaders stood together at a press conference to call for permanent protections for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in light of a Supreme Court decision, Monday, which excluded some TPS holders from permanent residency.
Tuesday morning, Haitian and Venezuelan community leaders, immigration advocates, and TPS Beneficiaries came together to react to the Supreme Court ruling. At the press conference, they urged Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to bring permanent protections for TPS holders by co-sponsoring the Secure Act.
The leaders and immigration advocates met at the Family Action Network Movement Office in Northwest Miami-Dade.
The ruling from the Supreme Court states that some of the thousands of refugees seeking refuge from violence and other catastrophes may be ineligible to apply for a permanent residency. However, the ruling does not, whatsoever, put the program at risk — and leaders at the news conference made sure to emphasize that point.
“TPS has not been terminated,” emphasized Marleine Bastein of the Family Action Network Movement. “Your benefits have not been terminated. You will still benefit from TPS, you still have your work permit.”
“It does nothing to change the law of TPS, it has to do with a completely different section of the law,” explained Randy McGrorty of Catholic Legal Services. “It affects very few TPS holders.”
Although the ruling does not put the program at risk, some TPS holders may be forced to return to their home country from which they are seeking protection to attend a consular interview.
According to organizers and leaders at the conference, this not only puts these persons at risk, but may bar them from an opportunity to get a green card.
Following the press conference, Senator Scott released the following statement:
“Florida is an immigration state and Senator Scott has been clear that he supports legal immigration and a permanent solution for TPS. Immigration reform must first address the need to secure the border. President Biden and the Democrats caused this border crisis with their radical open borders and amnesty policies – which hurts hardworking Americans and the millions of immigrants going through the legal process. Any immigration proposal needs to secure the border.
According to immigrant advocates, most of the 600,000 TPS recipients live right here in Florida. Furthermore, about 320,000 Venezuelans approved for TPS, advocates say only 38,000 have applied.
That’s about 10% of those eligible, and the Sept. 5 deadline is approaching.
While Venezuelans were urged to apply, Haitians were told to stand by for instructions coming soon on how to apply.
“I pay taxes. I work hard,” says Haitian TPS holder Tamara Louis. Louis is a TPS recipient who has been in the United States for over 20 years.
She and others are urging the Biden Administration to provide a pathway to living a stable life here in America.