NEW ANALYSIS: Temporary Protected Status Program is Crucial for Beneficiaries, Their Families, & Broader U.S. Economy

1.7 Million People Live in Households With TPS Holders & TPS-Eligible Individuals. In all, TPS Individuals Contribute $14 Billion to the U.S. Economy Each Year

Washington, D.C. New analysis released today by highlights the significant contributions of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to communities across the country and the broader U.S. economy, showcasing that 1.7 million people in the U.S. live in a household with a TPS holder or family members who are eligible for the program. Among these 1.7 million individuals are 710,000 U.S. citizens, 130,000 of whom have spouses who are TPS-eligible, and 360,000 of whom are the minor children of TPS-eligible parents. The new report also estimates that there are at least 450,000 TPS holders and TPS-eligible individuals in the labor force who contribute significantly to the U.S. economy and who are crucial for addressing nationwide labor shortages, generating $14 billion annually for the U.S. economy. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of TPS holders from El Salvador (87%), Honduras (83%), and Haiti (85%) are participating in the U.S. labor force at a much higher rate than the overall U.S. population (64%). 

“The benefits of the TPS program to American families and the economy are clear – but even while many TPS holders have called the U.S. home for more than two decades and they’re woven into the fabric of our communities, TPS holders’ ability to stay in the U.S. is at risk due to Congress’ failure to enact meaningful immigration relief,” said Senior Demographer Phillip Connor. “As the U.S. works to fill workforce shortages and keep families safe and together, it’s critical that existing TPS measures remain in place, and that the Biden Administration and Congress work together to provide TPS holders with a permanent legislative solution.”

Created in 1990, the TPS program has provided life-saving humanitarian relief, including work authorization and deportation projections, for individuals who cannot safely return to their home countries. Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has currently designated TPS for 14 countries, many more remain unsafe for individuals living in the U.S. to return to. The Biden Administration should act without further delay to designate TPS for nations like Cameroon, Mauritania, and Ethiopia. While these protections are limited and temporary, they are vital to the safety of thousands of individuals and families already living here and contributing to our communities.

To learn more about TPS and the benefits of the program, read the new report from here: Temporary Protected Status is critically important immigration relief for TPS holders and the U.S. economy. 

Additional Background:

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a form of humanitarian relief established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. The life-saving program provides work authorization and protection from deportation to people from designated countries facing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions preventing their safe return and has strict criteria for those eligible. TPS does not provide a separate path to lawful permanent status or citizenship. 

TPS designations are determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State. Under U.S. law, TPS may be granted for up to 18 months at a time and extensions may be granted as many times as necessary. DHS may redesignate a country for TPS, which allows the United States to provide protections to nationals of the redesignated country who sought safety in the U.S. after the country’s last designation. 

Conditions in TPS-designated countries remain dangerously unsettled, and the U.S. State Department warns Americans against traveling to these nations. In fact, the majority of countries with current TPS designations – most of which are set to expire imminently – have received level 3 and 4 travel advisory warnings from the U.S. Department of State. 

The following countries are currently designated for TPS: Afghanistan, Burma, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Yemen.

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