Lankford Says ‘Temporary’ Protected Status of Nearly 25 Years Has Become Indefinite Form of Amnesty
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would basically extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua for another 18 months. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) called out the Biden Administration for once again ignoring a problem that anyone can acknowledge needs to be addressed and offered his bill as a solution.
“Calling the protected status of these countries ‘temporary’ strains the definition of the word to the point of absurdity,” said Lankford. “Twenty-five years is not ‘temporary,’ yet it continues to be applied to El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, with Nepal being ‘temporary’ for eight years. The TPS program is clearly an indefinite form of amnesty that has been abused to allow people to avoid the dangerous and overcrowded southern border and has been extended by multiple administrations who don’t want to deal with it. We should take up my bill to make TPS temporary again.”
El Salvador has been designated for “Temporary” Protected Status since March 9, 2001—Honduras since January 5, 1999 and Nicaragua since January 5, 1999. Nepal has been designated under the program since June 24, 2015.
Lankford remains the leading voice in the Senate to secure our southern border, end catch-and-release, and fix the broken asylum process. Lankford got Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to admit that our asylum process is broken and being abused and that our entire immigration process is broken. But our immigration system also needs immediate solutions to make it an orderly and accountable process, which Lankford believes everyone should be able to get behind.
Earlier this year, Lankford introduced the TPS Reform and Integrity Act, which would restore “temporariness” to TPS by requiring Congress to approve a second or subsequent extension of a country’s designation for TPS.
Lankford’s bill would:
- Require DHS to provide all of the information it has on TPS to Congress prior to a designation taking effect;
- Limit DHS to one designation and one extension of TPS and any additional extensions require Congress’s approval;
- Prohibit DHS from “re-designating” a country for TPS, which prohibits TPS from being used as a way to give illegal immigrants work authorization and shield them from deportation; and
- Ensure that criminals do not qualify for TPS.
The TPS Reform and Integrity Act would not affect current recipients of temporary protected status. It would only affect future recipients.
Lankford recently visited the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, after Title 42 authority was lifted, and he saw first-hand the national security risk the wide-open border has presented because CBP has been forced to process illegal migrants into the US instead of protecting the border. Lankford also called out the Biden Administration for fudging the illegal border crossing numbers to fake success of their Title 42 plan.