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Labor and Immigration Advocates Urge Expansion of Temporary Protective Status for Migrants

A coalition of labor and immigration rights organizations in New York is urging the Biden administration to expand rights for migrants by extending Temporary Protective Status (TPS), allowing them to live and work legally in the U.S. for an extended period. The coalition, which includes groups such as African Communities Together, Make the Road New York, and Proyecto Faro, is emphasizing the need for faster work permits to alleviate pressure on social services and overflowing shelter systems.

Asylum seekers admitted to the U.S. currently face a waiting period of at least 180 days, during which they are not authorized to work. This situation prevents them from supporting themselves and their families and puts additional strain on public services.

The coalition has sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, advocating for the expansion of TPS to migrants from the 16 countries of origin already eligible for TPS. They also propose including countries experiencing civil unrest, like Guatemala and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The TPS program, managed by the Department of Homeland Security, provides protection from deportation, work permits, and travel authorization to eligible migrants. Advocates argue that TPS offers a stabilizing solution to migrants navigating the complex asylum process and helps them secure employment, thereby reducing reliance on undocumented work that often leads to exploitation and dangerous conditions.

While TPS is seen as a step in the right direction, advocates stress the need for a more permanent solution to address the challenges faced by migrants and ensure their integration into communities.

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