Office of Government Relations


February 1, 2018
Office of Government Relations

Defend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) 

Update on TPS for Syria 2/1/2018

“On January 21, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that the administration will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syria for 18 months. We welcome this extension, but note that the administration did not re-designate TPS for Syria which means Syrians who arrived since August 1, 2016 will not be able to utilize this humanitarian protection tool. 

We urge the administration to re-designate TPS for Syria and urge Congress to work toward bipartisan legislation that would offer pathways to legalization for TPS holders from other countries who are now facing the threat of deportation to unsafe conditions and separation from their families and communities in the U.S.”

What next:

Take action to protect TPS holders and urge Congress to pass a legislative solution.

TPS holders are stable, taxpaying residents of the U.S. who are unable to return to their home country due to dangerous conditions, and/or their home country is unable to adequately receive thousands of persons. Use the interfaith TPS toolkit linked below to contact your members of Congress, host an event at home, and learn more about TPS.

You can also get tips for action through “TPS for Syria: Resource Page.”

More on TPS: 

TPS is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing environmental disasters or armed conflict. It is granted when returning home–via departure or deportation–would place those nationals at risk, or if the foreign government’s ability to absorb the return of its nationals is compromised. TPS holders receive protection from deportation and work authorization to support themselves while they remain in the U.S. Over the years, as conditions in their home countries have not improved, many TPS beneficiaries have stayed, with legal permission, and built lives in the U.S. Sending TPS beneficiaries back to the unstable conditions in their home countries presents grave concerns for families, our local economies, and the stability of receiving countries.

Policy passed by The Episcopal Church’s General Convention advocates for the designation of TPS for all immigrants fleeing for refuge from violence, environmental disaster, economic devastation, or cultural abuse or other forms of abuse.

Making Sense of TPS Decisions: This Quick Guide will assist TPS holders in understanding DHS decisions, including terminations and indecisions. The Guide also offers seven steps TPS holders can take to prepare and provides helpful links to resources.

TPS Terminations – What You Should Know: This updated resource offers a detailed FAQ to assist TPS holders understand what the recent terminations mean, including requirements and consequences.

Use the Interfaith Toolkit to Defend TPS to take action in your community with calls to Congress, events, and more! 

Previous Updates

Statement on Termination of TPS for El Salvador 1/8/2018

The Department of Homeland Security announced that it will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 200,000 individuals from El Salvador. The Episcopal Church encourages the administration to reconsider this decision and calls upon Congress to pass legislation that would offer permanent solutions to current TPS holders. 

Multiple studies have demonstrated that El Salvador cannot safely repatriate nearly 200,000 individuals. Specifically, El Salvador is ranked the most violent country in the Western Hemisphere and has suffered from continued natural disasters, stagnant economic growth, and a lack of infrastructure and health systems. Further, the majority of Salvadoran TPS holders are economic, cultural and social contributors to the U.S. 

Congress and the administration must devise a long-term solution for Salvadorans and others currently holding TPS that recognizes both the realities of the country’s harsh conditions and humanely addresses the realities of the individuals impacted. 

Statement On Haiti TPS Decision 11/21/2017

The Episcopal Church is disappointed in the Administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 50,000 Haitians. Conditions in Haiti are currently unsafe and unstable, with critical lack of improvement since the 2010 earthquake compounded by devastation from Hurricane Matthew and a cholera epidemic. TPS is a tool by which the administration allows nationals of certain countries experiencing conflict or natural disaster to stay in the U.S. in safety. While this should be a temporary safety tool, at this time Haiti cannot safely repatriate 50,000 people, and the decision to terminate the program will harm our communities, the Haitians who will be forced to return, and communities in Haiti.

Haitian TPS holders have been able to rebuild their lives, work, and raise families in safety. Forcing these individuals to return will put them at risk and further hamper Haiti’s ongoing recovery and development efforts. We encourage the administration to review this decision and continue to provide positive assistance toward Haiti’s development. 

Update 11/7/2017

On November 6, Acting Department of Homeland Secretary Elaine Duke announced she would terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 2,500 Nicaraguans with a final date in 12 months. She did not make an official determination on TPS for 57,000 Hondurans, so TPS designation for Honduras will be automatically extended for six months. The Episcopal Church, through General Convention policy, supports the extension of TPS and urges Episcopalians to advocate for TPS extension and pray for those impacted by these decisions.

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