August 24, 2021
Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), a national coalition of grassroots immigrant community organizations working together to win permanent status for our members and communities, welcomes the House passage of the budget resolution today. This is a historic and long overdue step from Congress to deliver a visionary budget that includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers,TPS holders, farmworkers and other essential workers. As a coalition of organizations that represent TPS holders and former TPS holders, we believe that the momentum is right to finally establish permanent status and protections for our people.
More than 400,000 TPS holders and their families work, pray, live and have built futures for themselves in this country. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, almost one-third of all TPS holders were employed in essential occupations, and have kept America safe and healthy. As our public health crisis continues, TPS holders will remain essential to the nation’s economic recovery from one of its darkest moments. Over 80% of TPS holders are employed, having paid about $4.6 billion in taxes. Altogether, they’re expected to contribute over $164 billion to the GDP over the next decade.
But without a clear path to citizenship, their sacrifices and their contributions have not been reciprocated. TPS holders have remained in limbo for years, some even decades, not knowing if their status will be renewed. They live in constant fear of having to return to countries that are unsafe for them and ill-prepared for their arrival. This budget is the result of decades of our communities resisting, organizing and advocating for their rights. If it is passed without harmful amendments, the perpetual uncertainty for our communities can end and we will have the much-needed stability to thrive.
We will no longer accept temporary solutions for our communities. We urge Congress to pass budget reconciliation legislation that includes a path to citizenship, without any anti-immigrant amendments, obstruction or half-measures. This is the year to put TPS holders and all immigrants on a clear pathway to citizenship.
Ahmed Osman, Sudanese TPS Holder from New York, African Communities Together: “I am a Sudanese TPS Holder, and I have been here for 20 years. That's more than half my age, and I’ve been working, and paying taxes, so I would love to see TPS become permanent, and for us to get a clean path to citizenship. We don't know what the future holds, and nothing is guaranteed in this way. TPS the way it is now doesn’t offer security, no future, no longevity. I have never lived in my home country, nor can I live anywhere else since this is the only place I’ve ever really known. We need a real solution!”
Raj Tamang from Virginia, Nepali TPS Holder, Adhikaar member:“The thing that worries me the most about the uncertainty of TPS is the future of my daughter who was born in the US, and is now going to Chantilly High School. This is the only country she has known, and I cannot even think of having her go and live in Nepal if I am forced to go back. During the pandemic, I worked part time driving many customers to their destinations when things were already difficult. Despite the risks involved, the sense of responsibility to my community here compelled me to continue driving for Uber and get people to where they needed to be during COVID.
I am happy that the pathway to citizenship is moving in the right direction in Budget Reconciliation. The only right thing to do for Members of Congress with regards to TPS is grant us a permanent solution!”
Emmanuel Tabali, from Maryland, Haitian Bridge Alliance member: “What I witnessed in detention centers was horrific, and stays with me forever. I was in detention for 11 months after seeking asylum. When they transported us, we were shackled at the ankle, waist, and hands even on long flights between detention centers. It made me and others feel like animals - it was the most humiliating and demoralizing experience. This must stop! My dream for TPS and DACA is a clean path towards citizenship. Many come at a young age, they go to school, work, and add so much to this country. When you uproot a plant it dies, and to remove TPS holders and DACA recipients is to kill their spirit.”
Rima Meroueh, Director of National Network For Arab American Communities: “To truly Build Back Better, we must provide stable living arrangements for the millions of immigrants who make up this country’s future, including the thousands of TPS holders for whom this budget reconciliation window offers a profound opportunity. We have the chance to build a secure and enduring pathway for families across this country. We are hopeful, but know that the job is not done yet. We look forward to Congress offering a permanent solution to TPS.”
Patrice Lawrence, Co-Director of UndocuBlack Network: “While we applaud the intention of the budget resolution, it is the execution and implementation process that is crucial. We will continue to push for an equitable process that will ensure inclusion of all undocumented immigrants who continue to play instrumental roles in keeping the country alive and moving during a global pandemic and in the recovery efforts. There is no Build Back Better bill without the inclusion of undocumented immigrants of all ages and from all backgrounds and the political moment to pass a citizenship bill is now.”
Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) is a collaborative of grassroots immigrant community organizations working together to win permanent status for our members and communities, and build a more inclusive immigrant rights movement that centers the needs and experiences of African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, Arab/Middle Eastern, and API immigrants.
The UndocuBlack Network (UBN), founded in 2016, is a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources and contributes to transforming the realities of our people so we are thriving and living our fullest lives. UBN has chapters in New York City, the DC/MD/VA area, and Los Angeles, CA.
Adhikaar (Nepali: rights) is a New York-based non-profit, organizing the Nepali-speaking community to promote human rights and social justice for all. We are a women-led workers’ center and community center focused on workers’ rights, immigration rights, access to affordable healthcare and language justice. We organize the Nepali-speaking community to create broader social change; build coalitions on advocacy campaigns that address our community's needs; center women and the most impacted communities in our leadership; engage members in participatory action research; and implement community education, workplace development training, and support services.
African Communities Together (ACT) is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for our families here in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT empowers African immigrants to integrate socially, get ahead economically, and engage civically. We connect African immigrants to critical services, help Africans develop as leaders, and organize our communities on the issues that matter.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides bond support and humanitarian, legal, and other social services, with a particular focus on Black immigrants, the Haitian community, women, LGBTQAI+ individuals and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. Since 2015, HBA has provided services to asylum seekers and other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, in U.S. detention, and during U.S. immigration proceedings.
National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) is a national consortium of independent Arab American community-based organizations. The Network’s primary mission is to build the capacity of Arab American non-profit organizations that focus on the needs and issues impacting their local community while collectively addressing those issues nationally