Washington, DC – The Democratic caucus in Congress today guaranteed the creation of a bill so that those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) and the Deferred Forced Part (DED) access to the country’s citizenship.
“We have the commitment of the Democratic leadership that we will pass a law that protects the holders of DACA, TPS and DED. (…) It is crucial that we approve this type of legislation so that they can call our nation their home,” he said. President of the Hispanic Caucus of Congress, Joaquín Castro, at a press conference at the Capitol.
Castro made these statements surrounded by dozens of immigrants currently protected by these programs and by several of his Caucus colleagues, such as the representatives Nydia Velázquez, Sylvia García, Rubén Gallego, Chuy García and Verónica Escobar, among others.
Precisely, Velázquez, who represents the 7th district of New York, announced that he will present a bill along with Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard to protect these immigrants “next week.”
“The legislation we are working on will give them the opportunity to become holders of the permanent resident card (” green card “in English) and, later, citizens,” explained the congresswoman.
In their interventions, members of the Caucus charged the President’s Administration, Donald Trump, for trying to eliminate DACA and cancel several TPS and DED programs; and they asked the republicans to support legislation to regularize the situation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.
“We must protect these communities from the cruel policies of Trump and preserve his dream,” Velazquez added.
Among the participants in the conference was the Honduran Mardoel Hernandez, covered by the TPS since 1999 and resident in Maryland.
“We have been working hard for decades and being part of the American society, contributing to the economy by creating businesses and buying property,” the member of the TPS National Alliance told Efe.
Hernandez urged Congress to find a solution so that “more than 450,000 families are not separated by the decisions of the current Administration.”
In recent months, Trump has canceled the TPS for countries like Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, forcing its nationals to choose between seeking other ways to legalize their status, living without documentation or return to their countries.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced the extension until January 2, 2020 of the TPS for beneficiaries from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan, in compliance with a court ruling.
In this regard, several organizations, including CASA Maryland, United We Dream and Families Belong Together, attended a hearing today by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, in the House of Representatives to “pressure” the Trump government.
In that hearing, Nielsen defended Trump’s national emergency declaration to finance the wall and explained the reasons that drove the policy of “zero tolerance”, which caused the separation of nearly 3,000 families of undocumented immigrants last year.
At the same time, the Judicial Committee of the Lower House hosted a hearing on immigration policies, which addressed the protection of those protected by the DACA and TPS.
The DACA protects its beneficiaries from deportation and in some cases grants them a temporary work permit and allows them to access a driver’s license, benefits that must be renewed every two years.
Trump announced that DACA was due to end on March 5 last year if Congress did not reach a broad agreement on immigration, although it did not expire because several courts forced the government to keep it alive.
The TPS was created in 1990 and through it the country grants permits in an extraordinary way to nationals of States affected by armed conflicts or natural disasters.
The DED is similar to TPS and allows deferring the deportation of people who could be in danger if they are sent to countries where there is political instability or natural disasters. (EFEUSA)