Immigration Clarke Leads Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers in Protecting TPS Immigrants

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Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

This week, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke introduced bipartisan legislation to allow Temporary Protected Status (TPS) individuals to stay in the United States permanently yesterday.

The legislation would allow TPS-eligible individuals to apply for lawful permanent resident status and allow those who have been here for more than five years to legally remain in the United States through a newly proposed “protected” status.

“The Temporary Protected Status program was created with bipartisan support to protect human life. It advances American interests and values and we must work in a bipartisan manner to do the right thing and protect hardworking immigrants from being sent back to countries where their physical well-being could be cast into doubt,” said Clarke.

The ASPIRE TPS Act would protect TPS-eligible individuals from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Central America and Haiti who could otherwise be sent back to life-threatening conditions in their home countries. TPS provides a safe haven for migrants who are unable to return home due to dangerous situations in their native countries – whether it be armed conflict, natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances. Individuals who received TPS are not on an immigration track that leads to permanent residence or citizenship.

In May of this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DOH) Secretary John Kelly extended TPS to immigrants from Haiti for an additional six months, 12 months shy of the usual 18 months given. The extension deadline only granted TPS designation to eligible Haitians until January 22, 2018, leaving many in fear of the future in the US.