For Immediate Release: April 27, 2018
Cities for Action leaders issue letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State in support of an extension of TPS for Honduras
WASHINGTON – In anticipation of the Department of Homeland Security’s decision on Honduran TPS, 26 mayors and county executives issued a letter today to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urging them to extend Honduras’s TPS designation for a full 18 months. An estimated 57,000 Honduran TPS recipients have resided in the U.S. since 1998 – they own homes, raise U.S. citizen children, contribute to local economies, and have deep roots in communities. The letter urges Administration officials to take into consideration Honduras’s incomplete recovery from natural disasters and inability to safely reabsorb its nationals.
About Cities for Action
The mayors who have signed today's letter to Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Pompeo are part of Cities for Action, a coalition of over 175 mayors and county executives leading on immigration action and immigrant inclusion efforts.
See below for quotes from signatories:
"I urge Secretary Nielsen to extend the safety and security that this protection provides to thousands of families, including 3,000 Honduran New Yorkers. On average, they have been living in this country for nearly 20 years, while contributing to the economic and cultural vitality of our city. Revoking this critical protection would pull parents from their children and force them to return to unsafe conditions. New York City is their home and they should be allowed to stay here.”– Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
“Mayors around the country are advocating for the extension of TPS for Honduras because we recognize the importance of community and family cohesiveness,” said Carlo DeMaria, Mayor of Everett, MA. “We know Honduras has not fully recovered and simply cannot handle the return of so many citizens, and it would be cruel to force a return at this point. These people are valuable members of our communities, and we want them to stay here to continue contributing to our cities in so many ways.”
“Ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from Honduras will force these individuals to return to the lives they had to leave behind, often to situations that have not recovered from natural disasters," said Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston. "It will take them away from the lives they’ve built over the past two decades in Boston and throughout the United States. Many TPS holders have children and spouses who are U.S. citizens. They are our neighbors and co-workers who pay taxes, contribute to our economy, and are important members of our communities. In Boston, we’ve never forgotten that we are a city of immigrants and that our diversity and opportunity are what make America great."
Below is the full text of the letter from Cities for Action:
The Honorable Kirstjen Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20528
The Honorable Michael Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
April 27, 2018
Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Pompeo:
We, the undersigned mayors and county executives of the Cities for Action coalition, urge you to extend Honduras’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for 18 months. Cities for Action is a national, bipartisan coalition of over 175 cities and counties that advocates for policies that protect and support our immigrant residents. Approximately 57,000 Honduran TPS recipients have lived in the United States since at least 1998, many of whom reside in and contribute to the cities and counties we represent. We are gravely concerned that failure to extend Honduran TPS will lead to the separation of families, negatively impacting thousands of children and causing irreparable harm to Hondurans who call our communities home. We encourage you to make the humanitarian and practical-minded decision to extend Honduras’s TPS designation.
Honduras’s TPS applies to a limited group of Hondurans who were living in the United States when Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in 1998. The storm killed more than 5,000 people, wiped out the majority of Honduras’s infrastructure, and destroyed 70% of its crops. Hundreds of landslides and the worst flooding of the twentieth century were followed by outbreaks of cholera and Dengue fever. At the time, Honduran President Carlos Roberto Flores estimated that the hurricane reversed 50 years of progress in the country. The conditions in Honduras have deteriorated further with the rise of mosquito-borne diseases following Tropical Storm Hanna in 2008 and a catastrophic drought that caused food insecurity and economic recession. The Bush and Obama Administrations repeatedly extended Honduras’ TPS designation, recognizing that the devastation and the country’s incomplete recovery efforts hobbled Honduras’s ability to safely reabsorb its nationals.
Honduran TPS holders have established lives and families in our communities despite continued uncertainty over the future of Honduras and their own TPS designation. Honduran TPS recipients, on average, have lived in the U.S. for over 20 years and have an estimated 53,500 U.S.-born children. With a labor force participation rate of nearly 85 percent, most Honduran TPS recipients are employed in the fields of construction, landscaping, hospital care, child care, and food services – building and supporting our cities and our residents. Despite living in limbo with a temporary status that in many cases cannot lead to permanent residency, over 9,000 Honduran TPS recipients have purchased a home with a mortgage. Our cities value the immense contributions of Honduran TPS recipients – as family members, workers, and homeowners – and we urge you to provide a measure of certainty to our fellow residents with an extension of TPS.
As city and county leaders, the safety and well-being of our residents is of utmost importance. We recognize that Honduran TPS holders are well-established residents with deep ties to our communities through their families, jobs, and homes. We advise you to recognize the extraordinary hardship that forcing these individuals to return to Honduras would cause and the social and fiscal impacts of separating families and removing workers in our communities. Therefore, we urge you to extend Honduras’s TPS designation for a full 18 months.
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
Pam Hemminger, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Thomas G. Ambrosino, City Manager of Chelsea, MA
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of the City of Chicago, IL
Toni Preckwinkle, President of Cook County, IL
Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, TX
Riley H. Rogers, Mayor of Dolton, IL
John J. Bauters, Mayor of the City of Emeryville, CA
Carlo DeMaria, Mayor of Everett, MA
Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, IN
Dow Constantine, County Executive of King County, WA
David J. Berger, Mayor of Lima, OH
Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, CA
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
Isiah Leggett, County Executive of Montgomery County, MD
Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor of Mukilteo, WA
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, NY
Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA
Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA
Adrian O. Mapp, Mayor of the City of Plainfield, NJ
Liz Lempert, Mayor of Princeton, NJ
Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence, RI
Stephanie Venegas, Mayor of Santa Monica, CA
Thomas M. Roach, Mayor of White Plains, NY
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, D.C.