WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Tuesday, calling on Congress to find a permanent solution to the instability wrought by the Trump Administration’s indecision on Temporary Protected Status for most Central American countries and Haiti:
“While I welcome the Trump Administration’s rhetorical willingness to work with Congress to make long overdue changes to our immigration laws, I am worried about their current decision to keep in limbo tens of thousands of Central Americans and Haitians who are living lawfully in the United States because of continuing treacherous conditions in their home countries. Step after step, this administration has made obvious that its goals for the future of immigration in this country veer off greatly from our nation’s history of compassion and openness.
“The Administration must provide the longest possible extension for current TPS holders in the U.S. from Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti. In the meantime, Congress must work to find a more permanent solution that furthers the stability and security of communities in the U.S. and our Central American and Haitian neighbors. These are individuals and families who have lived legally in the United States for decades, paid taxes, started businesses, and strengthened communities across in the United States. In the case of Honduras, in Maryland alone 1,900 Hondurans are TPS holders and have approximately 1,300 U.S.-born children. But in another six months, Hondurans who are TPS holders will again face the anxiety and risk of being returned to a dangerous environment, which could further destabilize Honduras.
“I have asked the State Department for additional information on their assessments of country conditions in El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The Department of Homeland Security noted that the State Department’s analysis of Honduras was ‘inconclusive’ and that DHS needed to obtain additional information to make a final decision. Congress has a responsibility to better understand the State Department’s views here and the implications for U.S. foreign policy.”