Dear Member of Congress:
As one of more than a million MomsRising supporters across the country, I urge you to act immediately to protect the 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador who have been living and working in the U.S. legally for an average of 17 years under the TPS program, which provides temporary legal status for immigrants from countries that have been devastated by war, natural disaster, famine, or epidemic.
The words at the base of our Statue of Liberty, welcoming the “tempest-tossed” to our shores, have in many ways defined our country. Allowing people to apply for TPS if something catastrophic happens in their country of origin -- like war, famine, a natural disaster, or an epidemic -- is part of our history. However, this life-saving protection is being taken away; as is our standing in the world as leaders of hope, freedom, and prosperity.
We can never forget that the diversity of our nation is what makes us strong, innovative and prosperous; not the opposite. TPS holders contribute in every sector of our economy. In fact, TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti are key contributors to the following industries: construction, restaurant and other food services, landscaping services, child care, and grocery stores. If our economy loses all of our TPS employees, it would cost the U.S. economy $164 billion over 10 years.
The Trump administration has already announced the end of TPS for Sudan and is likely to end it for hundreds of thousands of other immigrants. This means that these hard-working men and women, many of whom have U.S. citizen children, will be sent back to countries that are unsafe or have poor conditions, putting their lives at risk.
Mothers and fathers should not have to make the heartbreaking decision of whether to leave their U.S. citizen children with neighbors and friends if they are forced to leave the country, or whether to bring their children to dangerous and unfamiliar countries.
TPS holders are just like any other member of our community, paying taxes, working hard, living peacefully and raising their families. In particular, studies show that TPS holders contribute greatly to key industries such as health and childcare. There would a profound impact on the country as a whole if essential workers were removed from their jobs.
As moms, dads and advocates for our families, we urge you to act now to make sure that 192,000 U.S. citizen children don't lose their parents and family members. We call on you to hold true to our pledge that when we say “Liberty and justice for all,” we really do mean all.