Alianza Americas is calling for permanent residency for the thousands of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in this country, as a new report revealed that more than 130,000 TPS beneficiaries are working on the front lines in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus.

A study by the Center for American Progress released on found that 131,000 TPS workers in essential industries such as health, food, and other emergency professions are part of the valiant workforce putting their own lives at risk in order to treat COVID-19 patients, and to deliver food to those people social distancing at home in some of the hardest-hit states like California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas.

According to the report, an estimated 11,600 health care workers have TPS permits, of which 8,100 are home health and personal care aides, and nursing assistants. These workers, from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, work in an industry that was already desperately understaffed before the outbreak and are operating at critical levels now.

The work that these TPS workers are performing is heroic and they are making a daily, tangible contribution to communities across the United States, said Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianza Americas. The sacrifice they and their families are making is astounding, especially when their future in this country is uncertain.

The U.S. currently awards TPS to about 300,000 foreign nationals from all over the world. Officially, the TPS program for all but a few countries ended in when the Trump administration deemed the protections were no longer necessary. Some TPS holders had spent over 20 years in the country and formed families during that time. In response to court challenges by advocacy organizations, the program was allowed to continue temporarily, although it could end at any time depending on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California’s decision.

Alianza Americas is calling on the US Congress and the Trump administration to enact a change in U.S. immigration law to enable TPS recipients to apply for permanent residency visas and allow them to continue contributing to all aspects of life in this country as they have been doing for years.

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