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The Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 immigrants is unjust, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc globally. TPS was granted for individuals from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and Sudan in response to environmental disasters and armed conflict, like the catastrophic earthquake that destroyed large parts of Haiti in 2010, Hurricane Mitch, which hit Central America in 1998, or violent civil conflicts, such as the civil war in Sudan.

American Gateways, which provides legal assistance to immigrants in 23 Central Texas counties urges Congress to provide protection and a path to permanent protection and stability for TPS recipients, the majority of whom have been living in the US for decades.

Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways’ Executive Director stated: “The majority of TPS recipients have lived in the US for decades. They have worked and continue to work and contribute to our economy. They have families, many with US citizen children. They have homes. They are our integral members of our community and ending the TPS program is cruel and unjust. Ending TPS is another vicious and racist attack by this administration on our immigrant communities.

Lightsey went on to add, “The only way to ensure that these vital members of our community are protected is for Congress to act. We must have just immigration laws and recognize that this nation was built on the backs of immigrants. We need sensible comprehensive immigration reform that will provide a pathway to lawful permanent residency for TPS holders, DACA recipients, and all of the other immigrants who continue to make the US what it is today.”

With the current COVID 19 pandemic, over 130,000 TPS holders are on the front lines working to help protect the health and safety of Americans. They are medical and health care professionals, agricultural workers, and transportation workers, to name a few. They are considered essential and provide critical infrastructure on the frontlines, and without them our country would not be able to function.

MORE: Contact Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways, 512-478-0546 ext. 208 or

American Gateways champions the rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through immigration legal services, at low or no cost, as well as education and advocacy.

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