A measure is pending before the Boston City Council to urge the Trump administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is a humanitarian program intended to provide safe haven in the United States for people fleeing dangers such as natural disasters, wars and gangs. So far, the administration is moving in the opposite direction.
Former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who is now the president’s chief of staff, has said TPS status for Haitian refugees fleeing an earthquake should end in January.
Boston District 8 City Councilor Josh Zakim opposes that move and has a resolution pending to urge the administration to change course.
“I think these folks where it’s not safe to return to their original country, they need to stay here,” he said. “And in the Greater Boston area, I’ve heard estimates of 10,000 or more of Central America residents who currently have TPS who will be subject to deportation.”
Kelly has said conditions are improving in Haiti so it is time for these immigrants to return. A rally is planned by Centro Presente and its supporters next week at Faneuil Hall in support of the resolution to extend TPS, which covers as many as 300,000 immigrants from Central America nationwide.
Zakim said that cutting TPS short sends the wrong message, both to people who have been contributing to the local economy for the last decade, but also for how the nation should respond to disasters around the world.
“That would then bring all of these folks who have been part of our community, part of our economy, who have contributed billions of dollars in Social Security and tax payments, really to be ripped out of our communities and sent home to places that are dangerous,” he added. “I don’t think that’s something our government should be doing willy-nilly.”
The resolution filed August 9 declares that the City of Boston recognizes the overwhelmingly positive contributions of TPS holders and their families to the economy, social fabric, diversity and well-being of the community.
Via Commonwealth News Service.