Co-Chairman Hultgren Responds to President Trump’s Reported Comments on Countries Receiving Temporary Protected Status
Washington, DC —U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, today responded to comments from President Trump on countries who have received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) following natural disaster.
“I strongly disagree with President Trump’s reported choice of words. Words like these diminish and undermine our standing in the world as a trusted partner and beacon of hope.
“The difficult humanitarian, economic and political situations in certain countries following natural disasters is exactly why I support a program for Temporary Protected Status which provides safe harbor following these unavoidable calamities. We must set good policy for our country while remaining a refuge to displaced peoples facing humanitarian crisis. I support the desire of TPS recipients living in the United States to return to the home they love where they can thrive. However, until their countries can adequately reintegrate their citizens, which U.S. law requires, we should extend protections for these individuals and families living here in the United States.”
The program to provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allows the U.S. federal government, following a natural disaster in a foreign country, to allow displaced peoples to come to the United States. That designation should be extended if, according to the law, “the foreign state is unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return to the state of aliens who are nationals of the state.”
For example, in a statement after a November 2017 visit to El Salvador, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “from January 2015 to February 2017, more than a thousand civilians and 45 police officers were killed in armed confrontations between the police and alleged gang members. There are also alarming reports of extrajudicial killings and the return of death squads.” Such violence is forcing displacement within El Salvador as well as migration, demonstrating El Salvador’s inability to reintegrate TPS recipients into the country.
Rep. Hultgren has pushed the administration to extend TPS status to displaced peoples from El Salvador and Honduras living in the United States. The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearing and received testimony detailing the difficult situation throughout Central America, available here: https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/human-rights-and-humanitarian-challenges-central-america.