"In designating or redesignating TPS for Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua the Biden administration can reduce some of the motivating factors for forced migration from Central America over the long term."
A new study shows best evidence that designating Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to certain Central American countries should not act as an additional “pull factor” encouraging additional irregular migration, particularly over the long term. Instead, offering TPS to Central Americans already in the U.S. should actually reduce future irregular migration. The study, in collaboration with David Leblang of the University of Virginia and Benjamin Helms of Texas A&M University, comes as the Biden administration considers designating TPS for certain Central American countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Extending work authorization to more Central Americans who are already in the U.S. would allow them to access the labor market and increase their incomes, and consequently, their remittances, payments that immigrants make to family in their home countries. Remittances serve as an indirect, yet highly effective, form of aid that boosts household incomes and can, on the aggregate, help stabilize the local economies and security conditions.
Remittances help mitigate some of the incentives for future forced migration by providing the resources that people fleeing climatic events or violence could, for example, need to potentially relocate within their countries or temporarily to neighboring countries without making the journey to the U.S. At the same time, TPS offers those already in the U.S. protection from the persecution and violence they experienced or an unsafe return to conditions that have worsened since they first left. Meanwhile, increased remittances from TPS holders in the U.S., alongside sound political and regional policies, can help stabilize conditions in these nations.
In designating or redesignating TPS for Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, the Biden administration can reduce some of the motivating factors for forced migration from Central America over the long term.