A group of Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans plan to launch a hunger strike near the White House on Friday to help President Joe Biden’s government survive a temporary immigration status known as the TPS, which expires at the end of the year.
Members of the TPS National Alliance Association told The Associated Press on Wednesday they would strike to ask the Biden administration to extend immigration relief for another 18 months or expand it to cover more Central Americans. At present, TPS and its related work permits are valid till December 31.
“We want to remind Biden what he promised us,” said Arnoldo Diaz, a Salvadoran member of the National TPS Alliance executive committee, during his election campaign to support migrants with the TPS now serving as the US president. Mention the promise. They can live in the United States. We will go on hunger strike till the government gives us a positive answer.
The United States designates a country with TPS (Temporary Security Status, in English) if it presents conditions that prevent its citizens from returning safely or if that country cannot cope with their return. Is.
TPS prevents the deportation of people who have it to the United States but it does not equate to permanent residency. According to official figures, it is estimated that some 57,000 Hondurans in the United States, 2,550 Nicaraguans and some 180,000 Salvadorians benefit from TPS. Immigrants who have recently arrived in the United States may not receive it because the United States only welcomes those who arrived within specific time frames decades ago, such as the destruction caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1999. Afterwards.
In addition to the National TPS Alliance, immigrants from other groups such as Alianza America or the Florida Immigrant Coalition are also planning to protest in Washington on Friday to request the expansion and expansion of the TPS. They will do this in front of the Immigration and Citizenship Services offices. The Alliance hunger strike is planned at Plaza Lafayette in front of the White House.
Diaz plans to attend and stop eating for at least three days until she is replaced by another protester, he explained. The group expects 10 people to go on hunger strike indefinitely – with relief every several days – until government action is taken.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which enforces immigration rules, did not immediately respond to the Associated Press’s questions about the hunger strike and requests for so-called “Tapsians.”
Immigrant activists have been asking the US Congress for years to pass an immigration reform that includes TPS beneficiaries seeking permanent residency rather than a temporary status that must be extended every several months.
Former President Donald Trump, who backed heavy-handed measures against illegal immigration, announced plans to end TPS, but families who benefited from the program sued in court in 2018 asking the situation not to end. The courts ruled in his favor but the Trump administration appealed.
The lawsuits have kept TPS alive so far. The Biden administration inherited the appeal and spent months in talks with the plaintiffs to see if a solution could be found. Negotiations failed and that fight returned to court.