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National TPS Alliance
ON THE ROAD TO JUSTICE
Home » Press Room » Blog » Why are TPS Families Declaring a Hunger Strike?
Over the past four years, the National TPS Alliance has become a strong grassroots organization combining the power of over 50 committees led by directly impacted families from across the country all advocating for one goal: permanent residency and equality for over 400,000 people currently with Temporary Protected Status. We challenged the Trump administration in the federal courts and in the court of public opinion, we marched, lobbied, and demonstrated lobbied in Washington DC, and together, we have fought to ensure that our voices are heard in every corner of the country.
With the change of administration and temporary reprieve from a Capitol held hostage by nativists, we are arguably in the most crucial moment of our struggle, and we must take advantage of this opportunity before the window closes. Now is the moment for congress to take immediate action
for our families and finally pass legislation conferring the permanent residency and equality we have earned after all this time.
For this reason, with just one day after the Dream & Promise Act comes to a vote on the House floor, TPS families from all over the country will be arriving in Washington DC to participate in a for 43 day hunger strike, sending a clear and strong message to the White House and Congress:
Our Lives Are Not Temporary! Permanent Residency and Equality NOW.
TPS Holders pay an annual $4.5 billion in taxes every year, we own homes, we own businesses, have strong families, have built healthy communities, we have been the backbone of this country as frontline workers in the midst of a global pandemic; for the past 20 years we have been key contributors to the economic well-being and cultural wealth of what has become our adoptive country. We have earned our right to remain with the sweat of our brows.
From March 19 to April 30th, hunger strike will aim to shed light on the following demands:
We demand immediate green cards by any means necessary. As any legislation such as the American Dream & Promise Act or the US Citizenship Act of 2021 moves through both the House and the Senate, congress must act upon a national consensus by including a permanent residency for TPS holders in any and all legislative packages related to immigration reform.
We continue to welcome the Biden administration’s efforts to designate and re-designate TPS for Syria, Venezuela and Burma. However, they must take additional steps by fully restoring TPS for all original 12 countries, and by expanding the program to the maximum extent permitted by law for all other countries experiencing natural and political disasters. As we demand that congress acts now on a permanent residency for our families, we will continue to call on President Biden to make robust use of TPS in order to benefit the largest number of immigrants living and working in the United States during this unprecedented moment of crisis.
In 2018, our TPS families filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s racist, unconstitutional, and anti-immigrant attempts to separate more than 275,000 US citizen children from their parents through an attempt at terminating the TPS program. We refused to accept this fate, and through our strength and resilience, and through our organizing, we survived four years of constant persecution from the previous administration, and we emerged as a powerful new voice in the movement to reform barbaric US immigration law and policy. We are calling on all three branches of government to live up to their constitutional obligations. We call on Congress to pass legislation reflecting the national interests and will of a majority within the country, we call on President Biden to make use of robust authority under the TPS statute to protect immigrant families, and we call upon federal courts to vindicate our rights by siding with our struggle in favor of TPS families’ bedrock constitutional rights.
Finally, as members of diaspora communities in an interdependent world, we demand a seat at the table as the US government integrates domestic and foreign policy. Due to a long history of US intervention and the constant threat of climate change, our people continue to flee from the same unstable conditions from which we originally fled from- poverty, violence, political instability, natural disasters. These are the root causes of migration. If President Biden seeks to reverse the harsh policies under the previous administration, he must deliver on his promise to halt deportations, to not separate migrant families at the border. He must address these root causes and understand that people are not risking their own lives, including the lives of their families through a long and treacherous journey, only to reap the benefits that this country has to offer. We demand justice for all migrant communities in this hemisphere. The debt we are owed has been long overdue and we insist on making our own case in our own voices with our own seat at policymaking tables.
History has demonstrated the challenges in achieving any sort of immigration reform, where addressing much needed relief for our entire community is becoming more difficult. We now understand that we must move in the direction of what can already be achieved. Given the growing consensus that TPS Holders, DREAMers and agricultural workers should obtain a permanent residency, this could be a critical piece of reform we could push immediately as we continue to fight for the rest of our communities. We must also make it clear to our communities, that our main objective is to create the best pathway towards a permanent residency for all, including more than 11 million of those who remain undocumented. Our Alliance remains committed in words and action to advance migrant justice for all who currently reside here and all who seek to come here.
We will also make it clear to lawmakers, lobbyists, intermediaries, and others that TPS holders have fought long and hard to get to this current moment. We will not be divided, and we will no longer be pawns in other people’s partisan agendas, as we may have been in the past. Nothing About Us Without Us!
As we arrive at this crucial moment, we hope the following action becomes the culmination of long struggle and the beginning of a new chapter. For 43 days, TPS families will be refusing to eat; putting their own health at risk to bring attention to the much-needed urgency for congress to act now! We have waited for far too long; we have fought for far too long. Now is the time for this country to finally recognize our humanity and all of the contributions we have made. We will no longer accept any excuses. We are Demanding a Permanent Residency NOW!
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