For Immediate Release
AFSC warns of devastating impact on communities
WASHINGTON, DC (May 4, 2018) Today the Trump administration announced it would not renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Hondurans living in the U.S. TPS is a provision under which the government grants protection from deportation to people from certain countries afflicted by natural disasters, war, or other dangerous conditions. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for immigrant and refugee rights for almost 100 years – condemned the decision.
“TPS recipients are integral parts of our communities,” said Chia-Chia Wang, Organizing and Advocacy Director for AFSC’s Newark office. “We know that the conditions on the ground in Honduras have not improved, so the termination of TPS is clearly part of this administration’s efforts to target immigrants and disregard human rights. We need policies that keep our communities together rather than tearing them apart.”
There are over 57,000 Hondurans with TPS in the U.S. AFSC and others across the country have been working hard to save TPS – bringing TPS holders to Washington, DC to meet with elected officials, organizing call-in days, and holding local events.
AFSC’s programs in Latin America have also been watching this decision closely because of the potential ramifications on local communities. “In the first four months of this year there were 20,000 Hondurans deported from the U.S. and Mexico,” said Karen Valladares, who works as the Migration Consultant for AFSC in Honduras. “In Honduras, many people are displaced by violence, unemployment, and lack of opportunities, which makes it extremely difficult for people returning to reintegrate into society.”
The organization also pointed to the role the U.S. played in creating the conditions in Honduras. “It is especially troubling that the U.S. is ending TPS for Honduras, given the U.S. role in destabilizing the country,” said Kathryn Johnson, Policy Advocacy Coordinator for AFSC. “The U.S. has provided millions of dollars in military training and other support to the Hernandez regime, creating conditions that make returning to Honduras very difficult.”
AFSC is calling on Congress to take action. “TPS was the result of massive organizing and education efforts by immigrants and allies across the country,” Peniel Ibe, Policy Fellow for the American Friends Service Committee. “We are now calling on Congress to enact a permanent solution that creates a swift roadmap to Lawful Permanent Residency and citizenship for all TPS recipients and the millions of other immigrants in the U.S.”
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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.