McGovern Condemns State Department Move to End Temporary Protected Status for Salvadoran and Honduran Immigrants

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice on U.S. foreign policy on Central America, released the following statement condemning the move by President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and the State Department to end Temporary Protected Status for more than 250,000 immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras who came to the United States seeking safety.

"The recommendation by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the State Department to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 250,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans residing in the U.S., as reported today in the Washington Post, reeks of politics triumphing over well-documented fact. The State Department and our embassies in these countries know full well that El Salvador and Honduras are two of the most violent and dangerous countries in the world. They also know that these countries do not have the ability to absorb or protect tens of thousands of returnees, especially given the daunting economic and security challenges confronting these nations. A recent report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the situation on the ground in detail, and recommended that TPS be extended for Salvadorans and Hondurans.

"In September, I led a bipartisan letter signed by 116 Members of Congress asking that TPS for El Salvador and Honduras be extended. In addition, a letter from leading Republicans asked for the same. These immigrants, who have had legal status and protection in the United States for nearly 20 years deserve better. The conditions in their countries remain precarious, as any rational, objective study would conclude. I call upon Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to rise above politics and to do the right thing by extending TPS for El Salvador and Honduras.

"Secretary Tillerson and all those at the State Department who participated in this farce of an assessment should be ashamed.”

Congressman McGovern also supports extending TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans, which the State Department assessment also called for terminating. The Department of Homeland Security nust announce a decision regarding TPS for Honduras by Monday, November 6th, and for El Salvador no later than January 8, 2018.