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Congress Must Act Now on TPS, Protect Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants

Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2018) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) with an 18-month delay:

The DHS decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador will cause extreme suffering for more than 200,000 individuals from El Salvador. Salvadoran TPS recipients, who are deeply invested in their communities and this country, have 194,000 U.S. born children and have an 88 percent participation rate in the labor force.

Only sixteen months ago, when DHS approved the most recent extension, the agency found that the grim conditions in El Salvador - which continue to this day - warranted a continuation of protected status.

In addition to today’s decision on El Salvador, in the past few months, DHS has terminated TPS for immigrants from Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. Collectively, this will force out over 350,000 people, who have built careers, started families, paid taxes including Social Security, and in many cases raised U.S. citizen children.

As many as a third of TPS holders work in the construction industry, literally building America every day. Many are union members who have worked hard to start careers as building tradesmen and women. Ending the program now is not only cruel and inhumane, but it will also destabilize the U.S. labor force.

LIUNA calls on Congress to act immediately to pass legislation to fix TPS and avoid a humanitarian and economic disaster. LIUNA has endorsed H.R. 4253 and S. 2144, which will keep families together and avoid devastating disruption to communities across the nation.


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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction and energy industries, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.