April 12, 2021
Senator Chris Van Hollen
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Diane Feinstein
Dear Senators Van Hollen, Cardin, and Feinstein:
On behalf of Working Families United (WFU), a labor coalition created to protect workers with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), we thank you for your re-introduction of S. 306, the SECURE Act. WFU is proud to endorse your bill to help workers and their families who have Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status, as well as TPS.
Working Families United and the four million union members we represent call on the Senate to pass either H.R. 6 or S. 306 as soon as possible. If we do not move quickly, the last Administration’s decision to strip away the legal status of working people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will upend the lives of nearly 300,000 TPS holders and their families.
TPS holders are working people who play by the rules and contribute to the economy of every state. Nearly thirty percent of TPS recipients have found employment in the construction industry and another thirty percent work in hospitality. While not all of them are working for unionized employers, many of them are. The average TPS recipient works 40-45 hours per week. Many of them own homes and support families. TPS workers in our unions earn good wages for the work they are doing, they pay taxes, are able to send money home (some up to 20% of their weekly take-home pay), helping to build the economies of their home countries, just as the TPS program was established to do. And collectively they have nearly 275,000 U.S. born citizen children. TPS recipients reapply every 18 months, by paying over $900 in application fees and undergo new background checks. Many TPS holders have lived – lawfully- in the U.S. for nearly two decades.
TPS holders are actively contributing to the U.S. economy. Ending TPS will be detrimental to employers, workers and their families; removing TPS workers from the economy would cost the U.S. an estimated $164 billion in GDP. This would especially hurt the construction and home health care sectors.
In 2019 and 2021, H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, which protects Dreamers, TPS holders and DED holders, passed the U.S. House in a bipartisan vote. In fact, this year’s vote was even more bipartisan than the vote in the last Congress for TPS holders and others. The Senate should pass H.R. 6 or S. 306 as soon as possible and grant Dreamers, TPS holders and DED holders the path to permanency that they and their families have earned and deserve.
Working Families United
Working Families United is a coalition of labor unions, including the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, UNITE HERE, the Ironworkers, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Teamsters, and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) seeking immigrant worker justice. Together, we represent 4 million U.S. workers. For more visit information visit https://www.workingfamiliesunited.org