Washington, DC — In a powerful demonstration at the White House today, CCAN and allied immigration, faith, and labor organizations came together to urgently demand that the Biden Administration extend and expand Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for migrants from climate change-affected countries. Protestors called for current temporary protections granted to immigrants from El Salvador, Nepal, Honduras, and Nicaragua to be made permanent. And, while TPS was recently extended for hundreds of thousands of people, the protesters spotlighted the fact that migrants from Guatemala, Pakistan, and other countries facing severe climate change impacts still lack TPS designation or re-designation.
Statement from Ernesto Villasenor, Jr., CCAN Federal Campaign Coordinator:
“For decades, scientists have been sounding the alarm on human-induced climate change. And now the grim reality is that climate change-induced catastrophes are upon us, wreaking havoc on El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Guatemala – countries that are already grappling with food insecurity, political turmoil, and rising violence.
For five years, TPS holders from these crisis-ridden countries endured perpetual uncertainty with only short-term extensions from the US Department of Homeland Security. The recent TPS extension, though helpful, missed a crucial opportunity to demonstrate real leadership for climate migrants. It overlooked countries like Guatemala, Pakistan, and others hit by climate disasters, leaving them out of TPS. We’re at the White House to say, ‘Enough is enough! Families belong together, protected, and safe.”
Climate change migration isn’t just about future coastal cities; it’s a current crisis. Thousands of Pakistanis, displaced by devastating floods, illustrate this fact. Despite a third of their country being submerged and nearly half a million people losing homes, they did not receive TPS. This highlights the urgent need to address climate-induced displacement now.
TPS fundamentally recognizes the imperative of providing immediate assistance and sanctuary to individuals who are unable to return safely to their countries of origin. It acknowledges that the dire circumstances they face are beyond their control and often require a temporary respite to rebuild their lives. Temporary Protected Status embodies the United States’ commitment to protecting the most vulnerable members of the global community and providing them with a lifeline during times of great distress.
By excluding these individuals, the Biden administration exposes them to the same crises that TPS recipients are shielded from, which is illogical. This missed opportunity highlights a lack of true leadership and courage. The pursuit for #TPSJustice persists, and President Biden can still take action by re-designating today.
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Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the first grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. Founded in 2002, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.chesapeakeclimate.org