While Washington D.C.’s main focus is currently on the “border security” debate and government shutdown, another huge conversation still needs to be had in the realm of immigration in the U.S.: the continuation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Immigrants who arrived in the U.S. from Haiti, Sudan, El Salvador, and Nicaragua came here as refugees fleeing their native countries from armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other unsafe conditions. President Trump attempted to remove TPS in 2017, but in October, a federal judge restored the protections after concluding that Trump’s racial prejudices may have influenced former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and current Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to end TPS for those four countries. This allows TPS holders to remain in the U.S. legally until courts resolve the lawsuit.
Working Families United, a coalition of labor unions that includes the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), UNITE HERE, the Ironworkers, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Teamsters and Laborers International Union of North America, representing 4 million U.S. workers, launched an important initiative to help TPS holders.
The organizations will be able to give TPS holders the answers they need about their status, work permits, the US courts, and the fight in Congress—all through a simple Facebook messenger chat. The chat box asks a series of questions and gives updates based on their native country.
“Workers with TPS and their families have bravely stood up to defend their rights and demand the stability they deserve,” Neidi Dominguez, coordinator for Working Families United and director of strategic campaigns for IUPAT, told Remezcla. “We wanted to provide an easy way to get the information they need to their fingertips as deadlines and court dates keep changing. TPS Chat is one of the fastest ways to stay up-to-date as we organize for permanent protection.”
The chatbox is currently available in Spanish, Creole, and English. You can access the private messenger account here.