FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26 1, 2017
CONTACT: email@example.com, 646-343-7164
Building on extensive outreach efforts across five boroughs, Mayor's Office launched into multi-day blitz to defend New Yorkers with Temporary Protected Status, and call for full extensions for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras
BROOKLYN—Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs' Acting Commissioner Bitta Mostofi kicked off a multi-day outreach blitz this morning as part of the City's campaign to push for full extensions of TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The Commissioner joined dozens of outreach staff and volunteers on a Day of Action to educate those with TPS and advocate for a full extension, in a demonstration of the de Blasio Administration's commitment to the thousands of New Yorkers with TPS. This morning, City officials and volunteers conducted morning outreach at nearly 20 subway stops and neighborhoods throughout the city – with a focus on Brooklyn during City Hall in Your Borough week. The City will be taking further action in Haitian, Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Salvadorian communities in New York City on Thursday, Friday, and into the weekend, as part of a multi-day push to bring awareness to an issue that impacts thousands across the five boroughs, and approximately 300,000 individuals across the nation.
"Extending temporary protected status to allow Haitian, Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Salvadorian immigrants to remain in this country is not only the moral thing to do — it is literally a matter of life and death," said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. "No one should fear deportation for keeping themselves and their family out of harm's way. Today's Day of Action tells the 300,000 affected immigrants nationwide that New York stands with you and will fight to preserve this important protection."
"New York City joins cities and advocates across the country today to support Temporary Protected Status recipients and urge the federal government to extend Temporary Protected Status for Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador," said Bitta Mostofi, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. Thousands of New Yorkers with TPS are longstanding members of our community who have built lives in our city. With the federal government expected to decide on whether to extend TPS for Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti next month, the Trump administration must protect these families, not tear them apart."
Following subway flyering in the morning, organizers from the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs will follow-up in the afternoon with targeted outreach in Haitian, Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Salvadorian communities, including tabling at the Salvadoran Consulate in New York. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, MOIA organizers will conduct a Faith Weekend of Action, going to houses of worship and working with faith communities across the city to connect TPS recipients and families impacted by the travel and refugee bans with information on City services, including appointments for free and safe legal help with ActionNYC. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs will join local leaders, faith, and labor at a press conference hosted by Council Member Mathieu Eugene at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Central Brooklyn.
Temporary Protected Status is an immigration benefit available to nationals of certain countries undergoing significant crises, such as armed conflicts, natural disasters, or epidemics. The federal government initially designates a country for TPS based on the specific conditions within the country. TPS enables those who receive it to work lawfully in the United States, and remain safe from deportation, out of a recognition that they cannot safely return home. Then, at typically 18-month intervals, the federal government re-assesses whether country conditions have persisted or improved, and thus whether to extend or terminate TPS. The federal government is statutorily required to give 60 days' notice of its decision to extend or terminate TPS for a given country prior to when that country's TPS designation is set to expire. For Honduras and Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, those notice dates are November 6, November 23, and January 8, respectively. Over 300,000 immigrants from these four countries alone are TPS recipients. Mayor de Blasio supports full 18-month TPS extensions for all four countries.
"TPS is under attack. I'm doing everything in my power to pressure Donald Trump's Administration to extend TPS to all beneficiaries," said U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke. "We live in a sanctuary city that builds bridges not walls and Mayor de Blasio and I are committed to keeping it that way."
"Brooklyn families from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua, among others, should not have to worry about being ripped apart due to draconian immigration measures such as the proposed termination of Temporary Protected Status," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "Our borough has a large community of people who would be endangered by a repeal of this policy. I urge DHS and all other relevant agencies to uphold the current TPS policy, and ensure that Brooklynites who have oftentimes lived here for decades are not forced to leave our borough, a safe haven that they call home."
"Temporary Protected Status is a vital protection for thousands of people across the United States, including many New Yorkers," said State Senator Marisol Alcántara. "I firmly urge the administration to extend Temporary Protected Status to all those who currently qualify for it, as the individuals in question could face great danger if forced to return to their countries of origin. The United States has always been a sanctuary for immigrants fleeing persecution and other calamities. We should not stop now."
"This Citywide Day of Action to Save TPS stands up for common sense, stands up for compassion, and stands up in solidarity with our immigrant communities," State Senator Jesse Hamilton. "As we speak out for TPS, we must continue working to connect our immigrant communities with resources so they can fully exercise their rights – I am proud my office is a 'Sanctuary Senate Office' and to be hosting a neighborhood Immigration Info Session on this Day of Action. I commend all the partners participating in the Day of Action. Through continued engagement, we will uphold our tradition of being an inclusive, welcoming city for all."
"Our immigrant communities deserve the chance to live, study, and work in the United States without constant fear of deportation," said Assembly Member Felix W. Ortiz, Assistant Speaker. "Temporary Protection Status is critical. Unless TPS is extended, people face possible detention and deportation to countries they may not know or remember. An Assembly resolution I am sponsoring asks Congress to take action now to protect the vulnerable."
"The unfortunate treatment of those that hold Temporary Protected Status in this country under this Administration is dishonorable and disgraceful," said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, a daughter of Haitian immigrants and the first Haitian-American woman to be elected to office from New York City. "Tens of thousands of Haitians will be affected by this, given crippling experiences such as the 2010 earthquake, cholera outbreak, Hurricane Matthew, and the recent displacement of Haitians in many other countries, not renewing TPS will further devastate Haitians and their families here in the United States. I am also deeply concerned for our other brothers and sisters from Central America – El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua -- who will be greatly affected, and whose lives would effectively be destroyed. We must come together with one strong voice for our immigrant community, demanding fair treatment and an extension for TPS extension."
"As NYC takes action on behalf of TPS recipients, I join this coalition to voice the detrimental consequences of ending these benefits for these families," said Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa. "TPS beneficiaries are exposed to life-threatening conditions in their country of origin. As a nation that historically has protected the peace of our neighbors and the wellbeing of those in danger, we should not turn our backs on those that need our help and support now. Today, we defend TPS loud and clear so that its provisions remain intact."
"I commend the Mayor's Office of Immigration Affairs for building such a vast coalition of support in an effort to raise awareness for the vital importance of Temporary Protected Status," said Assembly Member Walter Mosley. "I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues in city and state government, in an effort to protect countless individuals receiving TPS. TPS recipients are a vital part of our workforce, they have children who are U.S. citizens, and contribute to our diverse communities. Terminating TPS would not only put 300,000 people at risk for deportation, but would break families apart and force people to return to their countries where conditions are dangerous, if not life-threatening. We must stand together and send a message to the Trump Administration, that we will protect those individuals who are TPS recipients, because they are the same individuals who work alongside us, uplifting our communities every day."
"To end protections granted under previous administration to DREAMers and immigrants with Temporary Protection Status from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, would be yet another shameful chapter in our nation's history books, after slavery, Wounded Knee, Japanese-American internment camps and McCarthyism," said Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda. "Such actions would tear families apart and return people to dangerous, life-threatening conditions, for some of them returning them to a foreign country they have never known."
"Our nation is at its best when we welcome immigrants who merit Temporary Protected Status," said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. "Immigrants who have been granted Temporary Protected Status should be allowed continued residence. There is no reason to force people to return to countries still reeling from violence, natural disasters or disease. The reputation and security of the United States are enhanced when we assist those most in need."
"The Department of Homeland Security should continue to extend Temporary Protected Status to the thousands New Yorkers whose countries of origin are no longer safe," said Council Member Daniel Dromm. "It is inhumane to send our immigrant loved ones into countries facing armed conflict or natural disasters. Doing so puts their lives in jeopardy and undermines recovery efforts. Extending Temporary Protected Status to immigrants in the United States is morally the right thing to do."
"We are at a critical juncture in the fight to get Temporary Protected Status extended for our immigrant communities," said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. "I want to commend the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs for their continued advocacy of this important cause. Now is not the time to send the hardworking members of our community back to unsafe and hazardous living conditions. It is the moral obligation of our leaders to do what is necessary to protect these families by extending TPS, and it is my hope that by working together we will achieve that goal."
"With Donald Trump and his administration's, along with his supporters', bigoted and relentless assault on immigrants around the country, it is more important than ever to protect those people in our communities who are most vulnerable to these attacks," said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. "Temporary Protected Status is a program that needs to be defended, and we must fight for it. With immigrants under TPS contributing so much to our communities, it is not only a matter of conscience but of common sense."
"It is inhumane and unthinkable to deport more than 300,000 people," said Herold Dasque, community organizer with Haitian Americans United for Progress. "TPS recipients are deeply rooted in our community. If TPS is not renewed, it will cause a disruption to our economy, schools, housing, and workforce, as well as to our strong Haitian community here in New York City."
"Yesterday, October 24th a group of mainly Haitian clergy, including myself, had the privilege to gather in Washington, D.C. with thousands of people from all over the country to #SaveTPS, supporting an extension of TPS for our brothers and sisters. With over 300,000 TPS recipients potentially at risk of deportation, we can't just cross our hands and let it happen," said Pastor Adlerette Kebreau, Director of Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Haitian Clergy Association. "As a pastor, a woman of faith, and a community leader, I will say the following: there can't be greatness in America without immigrants. To make America great again, we must include immigrants, including recipients of TPS, DACA, and even those that have neither one. Make a path to permanent residency."
"Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a program that saves the lives of our members and their families every day," said Jose Maldonado, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITEHERE Local 100. "Those that receive TPS have fled from wars, natural disasters and many dangerous situations that forced them from their homes. Local 100 recognizes that many aspects of America's immigration policies are flawed and need reform but to force over 300,000 taxpayers, mothers, fathers and workers to return to unsafe, most likely deadly, situations is not only inhumane but un-American."
The NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs promotes the well-being of NYC's immigrant communities by recommending policies and managing programs that help to successfully integrate immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the city. For more information on all MOIA services, go to nyc.gov/immigrants, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.