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NHLA Disappointed in Administration’s Continued Actions That Target Vulnerable Immigrants and Urges Congress to Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, calls on the Trump administration to revisit its decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitian immigrants granted temporary legal status following an earthquake which devastated the nation in 2010. The administration announced it was giving them 18 months to leave the United States, despite Haiti being hit by two hurricanes and a cholera outbreak in the past six months. The Department of Homeland Security must engage in appropriate outreach and fact-gathering for all TPS determinations, including a process to reassess recent terminations. Further, Congress must act swiftly to protect these immigrants and their families from the threat of deportation.

“By canceling TPS for Haitians, and Nicaraguans, the Trump administration is actually creating new groups of immigrants it can deport in order to pander to its base, while shamelessly tearing apart families — 27,000 U.S.-born children have parents who were allowed to stay in the U.S. following dangerous situations in their homelands,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “Haiti was adversely affected by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, and the nation was still working on its recovery following the deadly 2010 earthquake. The Trump administration is marking 50,000 individuals for deportation in 18 months and will force them to return to a nation struggling to rebuild. This is inhumane. NHLA calls on Congress to act and help save these people from an uncertain fate.”

“Laws premised on careful and considered exercise of executive discretion must be revisited in the face of an Administration that has demonstrated a pattern of policymaking based on political pandering, prejudice, and presidential pique,” said Thomas A. Saenz, Vice Chair of NHLA and President and General Counsel of MALDEF. “It is not too late for the Department of Homeland Security to revisit its ill-informed decisions on TPS, but, failing that, the Congress must act to defend the many American families that include those with TPS from Haiti or other countries.”

“The decision to end TPS for Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan is part of Trump’s mass deportation agenda and an attack on people who have been living within the law, working, and raising families for many years as productive community members. It is yet another inhumane assault on immigrants and our tradition as a beacon of hope for those in harm's way,” said Laura Esquivel, Director of National Advocacy for Hispanic Federation. “TPS holders regularly pass stringent background checks, are parents to American citizens, and contribute to the strength of the US economy and diversity of our society. Congress must act to ensure immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers who qualify under our laws can live, work, and raise their families in the open and continue to be contributing members of society. Ending TPS does not make us richer or safer; it morally and economically diminishes us as a nation.”

“DHS’ decision to end TPS for 50,000 Haitians just days before Thanksgiving is a shameful new low for an administration that has given clear priority to fear-mongering over facts in setting its immigration policies,” said Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianza Americas, a transnational network of 50 immigrant-led organizations. “TPS programs for three countries have been cancelled in the last three months, and pending decisions on programs for other countries leave hundreds of thousands of lives in limbo. We will double-down on our efforts to Congress to find the political will and do what is right and formalize what long-time TPS holders are: Permanent residents of the United States.”

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The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit:


Alianza Americas | American G.I. Forum | ASPIRA Association | Avance Inc. | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | GreenLatinos | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | Latino Justice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Mi Familia Vota | National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Day Laborer Organizing Network | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina/o Psychological Association | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | | SER Jobs for Progress National | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | UnidosUS | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.- Mexico Foundation | Voto Latino

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