Venezuelan and Other TPS Leaders Join Sen. Van Hollen to Push for Permanent Solutions
WASHINGTON, DC — Venezuelan, Haitian and Central American, business and faith leaders, advocates and impacted community members joined U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) to discuss how to advance the SECURE Act in the Senate. The SECURE Act would allow qualified Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for legal permanent residency.
Senator Chris Van Hollen said, “For decades, our country has welcomed and protected those fleeing violence and turmoil around the world. TPS recipients are members of our communities – they are our neighbors, local business owners, friends, and frontline workers. Many have lived here legally for over twenty years – and call our country home. We must prioritize providing TPS recipients security and certainty, and our legislation would do just that. I was proud to introduce the SECURE Act, and we’ll be working to get bipartisan support for this initiative and ensure these vital protections for TPS recipients are signed into law.”
Wilna Destin, Organizer and former Disney housekeeper at UNITE HERE Local 737, said: “I left Haiti 21 years ago because of political persecution. My children are U.S. citizens and I’ve worked hard to give them a better life here. My husband and I have TPS, and we urgently need a pathway to citizenship. This country was built by immigrants, for immigrants. This is the beauty of America.”
Eighth grader and CASA Member Mariangel Molero, said: “My family left Venezuela because we were in danger. For me it means a lot to have TPS because my family and I would not be afraid that one day we will be deported. For years, I fought with CASA, all to open more doors for a better life. We could work legally, study, and know that we can get that career for which we strive every day. I myself want to study law in college, and my little brothers have dreams too.”
Kathy Bird Carvajal, Executive Director, IMPAC (ABIC Florida), said: “We are thankful to Sen. Van Hollen for his leadership on the Secure Act, which would provide permanent protections and a path to citizenship to so many families who have built their lives in the United States. Now it’s time for the Senate to work in a bipartisan fashion to give families, businesses and communities the certainty they need to help our country to move forward as we continue to rebuild and recover from the pandemic.”
Maria Rodríguez, Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, said: “We’re so happy for the Venezuelan community for their TPS designation, providing relief to 200,000 Venezuelans. We invite volunteers to join us as we help Venezuelans apply for the TPS at online events happening April 8 – 10 (more information at 1-888-600-5762). But we know that with Senator Rubio and Scott’s support we can get the Secure Act passed that will make that relief permanent. Whether Haitian, Honduran or Venezuelan, these Florida families deserve the peace of permanent status.”
Yanira Arias, National Campaigns Manager, Alianza Américas, said: “I have been a TPS holder from El Salvador since March 2001 when I was forced to leave my country, fleeing gender-based violence. TPS beneficiaries like myself are an integral to the American economy and American society. Many of us have lived in the United States for an average of 19 years, yet every six to 18 months we need to reapply, undergo background checks and pay substantial fees. We need to end this uncertainty. We are calling on senators from both parties to pass the Secure Act. We are thankful for Sen. Van Hollen for his support, and call on Republican senators to join us in finding a permanent solution and a path to permanent protections for all TPS holders.”
William Diaz, Founder, Casas de Venezuela National Network, said: “We need permanent protections and a path to citizenship to all TPS holders, including Venezuelans, so that they have the certainty they need to fully contribute to this country. We are calling on senators from both parties to pass the Secure Act. It is good for families, it is good for our economy, and it is good for our nation, especially as we emerge from this pandemic. The Venezuelan community looks forward to working with our elected officials to garner the bipartisan support needed to pass this critical legislation. We thank all of our brothers and sisters from Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as all the organizations involved in this cause, for welcoming us, the venezuelans in this endeavor.”
This event was hosted by CASA, featuring the following co-sponsors: IMPAC Fund, American Business Immigration Coalition, U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Alianza Americas, UNITE HERE Local 355, Family Action Network Movement, and FWD.us.
With over 100,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall
The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense 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.
IMPAC Fund is the Florida chapter of the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) which promotes commonsense 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. For more information go to impacfund.org.