MIAMI, FL – In the wake of the decision on the current injunction in the case Ramos v. Nielsen, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, their families and communities held a virtual press conference to condemn the negative decision. In Miami alone, it is estimated that 23,000 TPS recipients will be affected by this decision, many of which have been in the United States for more than 20 years.
Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM), stated, “300,000 TPS recipients have been living in this country for an average of 20 years. They are deeply rooted in their communities. They contribute to our economy. And yet, while in the middle of this pandemic that has killed so many of our family members and friends in Miami, now TPS recipients and advocates have to worry that TPS recipients and their family members will be packing their bags to be deported to nations in turmoil. If we organize from the ground up and go out en masse, we know that we can make a difference. We know that we have to make a difference because our lives and the lives of the 300,000 thousand TPS recipients depend on it. At FANM, while we deplore this racist and insensitive decision, we are implementing a national campaign for the 300,000 TPS recipients who cannot vote to reach out to family members, friends, and coworkers to ask them to be their vote. We will continue to fight and we will urge our senators in Florida to put their action where their mouth is and support the TPS recipients not only of the state of Florida but around the country. Let us endeavor to reach out across the aisle and ask our members to go out and vote but most importantly to be the vote of the millions who cannot vote in November. ”
Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition stated, “I thought last night about the children who may be aware of what was going. I know Cristina has been fighting side by side with Rony and Lili's kids and how heavy their heart must be knowing the uncertainty. How unfair it is for them to live with that fear and that trauma. That really motivates us to really move forward. It's completely unfair that TPS holders, who on average have been in the United States for 22 years, are living as second class citizens. Even though they contribute more than 6.9 billion over a decade on social security and medicare not to mention local taxes, consuming, and their incredible entrepreneurship.They are getting taxation without representation. Completely unfair."
Congresswoman Donna Shalala stated, " I am outraged about the decision. There's no question about it. TPS is on the ballot on November 3rd. This decision is outrageous. Many people have been here for many years. They need a pathway to citizenship. I've said that over and over again. Extending TPS is one thing but offering people a pathway to citizenship for themselves and for their families is absolutely critical. I stand with you. I am outraged this morning. "
TPS Holder Rony Ponthieux stated, "As a nurse, everyday I put my life on the line to save American lives. Yesterday, I was really shocked and greatly disappointed when I learned the judge sided with the Trump Administration to terminate TPS for Haiti, El Salvador, Sudan, and Nicaragua. This decision will affect hundreds of thousands of hardworking people and also will have a big impact on America's economy. But also this decision will put 130,000 US born children at risk of losing their parents due to potential family separation."
TPS Holder Lili Montalvan stated," In 2001, I was granted TPS status. My life changed. I was able to open a bank account and get a driver's license. I was able to get a better job. I got married and I have two children. My oldest son is now 18 years old. I am very proud of him. He just finished high school with high honors and is now entering college. I am very happy because this year he can vote. My daughter is six years old. Now with the court's decision, for me it's very difficult. What would I do with my children? I am alone. My husband was deported last year. My children are fatherless and with this new decision I, too, may be deported."
Immigration Policy Coordinator for The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti Steve Forester stated, "This really is a travesty. While we stand in solidarity with immigrants nationwide, Haiti, it must remembered, was an open and shut textbook case for TPS to be extended based on the 2010 earthquake, the cholera epidemic which killed at least 10,000 and sickened at least 800,000, and the October 2016 Hurricane Matthew. The idea that racism did not play a role in this is laughable."
Contact: Victoria Villamil