TPS holders are people with Temporary Protected Status, a provisional legal protection from deportation granted to migrants who are unable to return to their home countries due to environmental disasters or social conflicts. There are TPS holders from: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Recently, the Trump administration has given a six month extension to Haitians so they can make arrangements to return to Haiti. Salvadorans and Haitians will have until the beginning of next year to hear a final decision before their temporary residency expires. Rex Tillerson has made it clear to the Department of Homeland Security that it is okay for the migrants to return to El Salvador and Haiti, regardless of the fact that Haiti has still not recovered from the earthquake in 2010 or that El Salvador has some of the highest homicides, feminicides, and gang violence in the world. This is a fight for all migrants, one that ultimately seeks citizenship for all and one without borders
Many TPS recipients from El Salvador have been here for as many as more than 16 years and have formed their lives and families here, it is only right that they are given a path to residency. On Monday night the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would be ending TPS for Nicaraguans and would be making a decision on Hondurans shortly. The TPS National Alliance comprised of TPS holders and immigrant rights advocates recently mobilized and went to Washington D.C. this last month to advocate for an extension and a path to residency. With the decision coming up in weeks, it is critical that we take action in spreading the word about TPS decisions.
The decision to send these migrants back is made even more insidious by the historical relationships between the U.S. Government and much of Central America and the Caribbean. The United States directly participated in several wars in the early 20th century to open up Central America to US capital and political influence. Under President Woodrow Wilson, the US invaded and occupied Haiti for two decades to open up its borders to even more economic exploitation than Haiti had already been forced into by being saddled with debt to French and American banks. This invasion involved massive infrastructure projects to accelerate the plunder of Haiti built by reenslaved Haitian labor and set the political conditions for political regimes built on torture and terror like “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s - a Cold War the US in their global war on communism.This undue influence continued throughout the 1970s and 80s, when the US financed civil wars and facilitated trainings for the Salvadoran military in the 1980s to fight left-wing guerillas and support right-wing governments resulting in El Salvador’s Civil War and intervened in Honduras and Nicaragua to suppress left-wing governments and protect US economic objectives and capitalists’ investments.
Unlike DACA, there is not a strong history of public support or outcry for people with TPS, even among immigration activists. We commend the courage of Dreamers to lead their fight and have the courage to come forward and demand their right to stay. However, while TPS recipients are predominantly working class people, many people with DACA are highly educated, playing badly into the “good immigrant” “bad immigrant” dichotomy that dominates popular narratives about how to change this country's immigration system. People under Temporary Protected Status do not benefit from the good vs bad narrative that informs some people’s support for DACA recipients, and this narrative will not protect them. Breaking up families and having TPSers return to countries that are not in condition to receive them is completely barbaric. DSA- LA stands with all migrants and will fight these injustices to prevent another group of migrants being vulnerable from the mass deportation machine the administration keeps trying to push into our communities.
As socialists we are committed to taking down capitalism and imperialism. We must now fight along immigrants under Temporary Protected Status who are weeks away from a decision that will determine whether they have to return to their home country. DSA chapters, many of which work with other immigrant rights organizations, should support The National TPS Alliance. This Alliance is led by TPS holders from all over the country working to keep TPS and find permanent solutions. As we strive for a place with immigration policy that is clear and beneficial to migrants, we must first ensure that all immigrants are kept safe from deportation. Many DSA chapters across the country are already working to keep immigrant/ undocumented immigrants safe from ICE, but the struggle over TPS is also urgent and it is vital we take steps to protect TPSers and continue to fight for a permanent solution.
On Wednesday November 15th there will be a National Day of Action hosted by the National TPS Alliance to denounce the decision to terminate TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans at 200 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012-3304, United States; and a vigil from 6-8pm. It is important that folks show up to stand up for TPS for their fight to remain, but also to find permanent solutions.
Although the decisions are left to the Department of Homeland Security here are some ways we can take a stand and bring awareness around TPS, we call on our members to participate in some of these strategies shared by the immigrant rights organization CARECEN:
“Part of our twitter strategy involves tweeting at journalists, especially those in the Latinx community and those who are known for reporting on immigration issues. Here are journalists we recommend tweeting at/interacting with."
National TPS Alliance: @TPS_Alliance”
AZ Central (USA Today affiliate):@azdangonzalez
Associated Press (AP):@RussContreras
Democracy Now: @democracynow
Huff Post Latino Voices:@CaritoJuliette
NBC Boston: @NBCBoston
San Francisco Gate:@Haleaziz
The Texas Tribune:@nachoaguilar
Vegas Channel 8 Reporter:@Karen8newsnow
How to pressure representatives :