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President Biden’s Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond, US Senator Cory Booker, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Business Leaders Make Economic Case for Legalizing Immigrants with TPS and Essential Workers in Reconciliation

Congressional, business, and civil rights leaders underscored how TPS recipients grow our national GDP, spur job growth, and raise the wage floor for all Americans

Link to recording here: 

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as Congress readies for debate on the budget resolution, President Biden’s Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY 9), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX 18), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX 33) Loews Corporation Co-Chairman Andrew Tisch, National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President Wade Henderson, and Corn Products International Chairman and CEO (Retired) Sam Scott joined the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), business and civil rights leaders in a virtual event titled “Briefing on Temporary Protected Status and Immigration Reform” where they addressed the economic benefits of legalizing immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, Venezuela, El salvadoreñas, Hondurans, and other countries as part of the budget reconciliation process and immigration reform. 

TPS holders are critical to growing our national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), spurring job creation, and raising the wage floor for all American workers. Of the 319,000 TPS recipients from 10 countries in the U.S. today, 96.8% of TPS holders are of working-age, 95.8% of them are currently employed, and they pay an estimated $2.5 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. If TPS holders can no longer renew their work permits, employers will lose a total of $967 million in turnover costs which would have a disproportionately negative impact on states such as Florida, New York, California, Texas, Maryland, and Virginia.

See below for highlights of the event:

President Biden’s Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond: “President Biden and Vice President Harris have expressed their strong support for including immigration reform in the upcoming reconciliation legislation to be able to help many undocumented people including TPS recipients as well as Dreamers, farmworkers and essential workers. It’s time that they gained long-awaited pathways to citizenship. They are the backbone of the hospitality, meatpacking, healthcare, and agriculture industries in this country. TPS recipients work in numerous industries and have been on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic. That their service contributed to the food security of our nation should especially be noted. TPS recipients have a household income of over $10.9 billion and pay an estimated $2.5 billion in federal and state and local taxes every year. They have a spending power of about $8.5 billion, and if they’re not provided a path to citizenship, the impact on employers and the economy will be devastating. If TPS recipients were eliminated from the workforce, it would cost the country $45.2 billion in gross domestic product over a decade. Employers would stand to lose $967 million in turnover costs. The White House is committed to creating a pathway via reconciliation this year.”

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ): “It is a self-inflicted economic wound should we not truly create comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and people on Temporary Protected Status. This is to the tune of billions of dollars to expand our economy, to create jobs, to source small businesses, to bring revenue into our government. And even more than that it’s a globally competitive issue. America is economically strong because we have a strong source in every generation of immigrants who have been more likely to start business, more likely to succeed economically, who have a tremendous track record of making our nation the number one economy on the globe.”

Rony Ponthieux, Haitian TPS Holder and Nurse: “I was granted TPS by immigration officials when the earthquake left Haiti in shambles over a decade ago. Since we first came to the U.S., my wife and I have had two U.S.-born children. We put ourselves through nursing school and bought a house in Miami Gardens. My son is a E-4 specialist in the U.S. Army. I work at the Jackson Hospital COVID-19 unit where I save lives every day. Without permanent status, we might not be able to pay our expenses and provide for my 14-year-old U.S. citizen daughter. TPS recipients like me are workers, business owners, and tax-payers. Permanent status will allow me and my wife to be more productive and continue paying taxes. That’s why I respectfully urge our members of Congress to include a pathway to legalization for TPS holders in the reconciliation bill.” 

Rebecca Shi, Executive Director, ABIC: “Legalizing immigrants with Temporary Protected Status is economically important, morally right and politically smart. We are here to make sure that this year, through reconciliation, we’re able to legalize essential workers, TPS holders, Dreamers, and farmworkers.”

Andrew Tisch, Co-Chairman, Loews Corp.: “At Loews in Orlando and South Florida alone, we employ hundreds of TPS recipients, so we know firsthand as employers how crucial it is and how thoroughly they have earned a pathway to legal citizenship… To help drive our economy, to grow the national GDP, to spur growth, to raise the wage floor for American workers, common sense immigration solutions, including a pathway to citizenship for TPS recipients, cannot wait.”

Sam Scott, Chairman (retired), Corn Products International, Co-Chairman, ABIC: “We’re here today because we need our Congress to take action now. Legalizing hard-working farmers, Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status will help to grow our GDP, spur our growth, and raise wages for all American workers… We cannot afford to miss this opportunity.”

Anu Joshi, Vice President of Policy, New York Immigration Coalition: “Four years of an administration that was openly hostile to immigrants has made clear that waiting for comprehensive immigration reform is not an option. TPS holders are parents, workers, and active community members, who have been living under threat of being ripped from their families and returned to violent, unsafe, and unstable countries for far too long. Congress must act boldly to ensure the health and stability of our economy and communities by ensuring a pathway to citizenship in the budget reconciliation package. The American public overwhelmingly supports this action, so now it’s up to Congress to do the right thing.” 

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY 9): “We are gathered today to call for the inclusion and prioritization of humane and innovative immigration policies in the reconciliation process. The economic benefits of immigration reform are significant and well established. This is a once in a generation opportunity and we have to take advantage of it now.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX 18): “We are at a crossroads in this nation where it is of imperative determination to be able to have people who understand that the answer cannot be ‘no’. The answer has to be ‘absolutely’. The United States succeeds as long as we acknowledge the power of immigration to fuel the nation’s economy. A nation of immigrants creates jobs, and we are a nation of immigrants.”

Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX 33): ”We have about 15,000 TPS residents that live here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.TPS residents earn about $347 million and they contribute millions of that back into the local economy here. Keeping TPS holders in our community not only protects them, but it also is good for America. That’s why I’m calling on my fellow lawmakers today to include legalization for TPS recipients in the reconciliation bill.”

Enrique Fernandez, Vice President for Immigration, Diversity and Civil Rights, UNITE HERE Hospitality Workers Union: “UNITE HERE represents thousands of hospitality workers with TPS who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic cleaning hotel rooms, preparing food, and greeting travelers. Families with TPS, many of whom have lived and worked in the U.S. for decades, need a permanent solution now. President Biden and Congress must act this year to establish a pathway to citizenship.”

Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: “Offering help, safety, and security to those in need is foundational to our nation’s values. No one has exemplified those values more than front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom are immigrants with Temporary Protected Status. In a time of deep uncertainty, they showed up to provide basic needs for our communities. And year after year, they have shown us what it means to sacrifice and fight for this country. Now, Congress must show up for them by creating a permanent pathway to citizenship.”

Co-sponsors: American Business Immigration Coalition, National Urban league, The Leadership Conference, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, UNITE HERE, New York Immigration Coalition, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Casa de Venezuela, Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Orlando, CHIRLA, CASA.


The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.