Immigration News Today: 275 Groups Request Temporary Protective Status for Central American Immigrants
The calls for the Obama administration to stop its deportation raids campaign continues to grow as more than 270 organizations came together urging temporary protective status (TPS) for Central American immigrants.
On Monday, the 275 organizations, ranging from civil rights, faith-based, labor rights, humanitarian and legal-based groups, requested U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, with consultation from Secretary of State John Kerry, to give Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadorian immigrants, currently in the U.S., with TPS as a result of the growing violence in their native countries.
Citing section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the 275 groups acknowledged that El Salvador and Honduras are already categorized for TPS but only for environmental disasters.
In a letter to Obama, the groups noted that Johnson can adjust a TPS designation based on if "there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety, unless the [Secretary] finds that permitting the aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the national interest of the United States."
The groups believe El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras fit the aforementioned requirement of INA section 244(b)(1)(c).
Although the Obama administration recently made adjustments to its refugee processing policies, the belief is more has to be done. The groups, however, said the administration's latest refugee policy is an "explicit acknowledgement" of the Central American countries' worsening conditions.
"Designation of a country for TPS should be premised on whether country conditions meet the statutory requirements set by Congress and must not be impacted by unfounded fears of increased refugees arriving at our nation's border. TPS eligibility is strictly limited to individuals who are physically present in the United States prior to designation," the letter read, signed by groups such as the Detention Watch Network, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Mi Familia Vota, National Council of La Raza, National Immigrant Justice Center, United We Dream and We Belong Together.
As Latin Post reported, Johnson defended the deportation campaign, which occurred shortly after New Years Day, and said additional raids may occur under his discretion. Johnson said the raids focused on families or individuals apprehended for illegally crossing the southern U.S. border after May, 1, 2014, were issued final orders of removal by an immigration court, exhausted appropriate legal remedies and have no outstanding appeal or claim for asylum or other humanitarian relief under current U.S. laws.
Johnson disclosed 121 individuals were taken into custody and were in the process to be deported. Most of detainees were residing in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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