Last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced it wouldn’t renew a temporary status program for Haitians and Nicaraguans who sought refuge in the U.S. after natural disasters and violence. The decision is also troubling for Hondurans and Salvadorans protected by the program whose fate is now up in the air.
All in all, the Temporary Protected Status program covers more than three hundred thousand people from nine countries, including an estimated thirteen thousand Haitians, Salvadorans, and Hondurans living in North Carolina.
On Monday night, the Durham City Council passed a resolution in support of renewing the TPS for Nicaragua and Honduras and continuing the program to other eligible people.
“These families are an integral part of the community who should be welcomed and supported, and we should protect vulnerable persons who seek safety in our community,” the resolution reads.
TPS grants work permits and relief from deportation to immigrants who can't return to their home countries because of unsafe conditions.
A handful of people came out to support the resolution at Monday’s council meeting, including representatives of the North Carolina Salvadoran Association, the National TPS Alliance, and Eliazar Posada, community and advocacy manager for El Centro Hispano, which has been working to get similar resolutions passed by other local governments.
“To many, this is just a symbolic resolution—and let’s be real, it is—but for our community and people who are protected by TPS who may be losing their status and losing their homes, it lets them know they are welcome,” he said. “It lets them know that Durham is a place where they can live, they can be free, and they can be safe.”
You can read the full resolution below: