WASHINGTON— In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s decision on Monday to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 2,500 Nicaraguans, many of whom have been living in the United States for two decades, and reports that TPS may also be terminated for people from additional countries, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement:
“The Administration’s decision to terminate legal status for approximately 2,500 Nicaraguans living in the United States for two decades is profoundly misguided on both humanitarian and policy levels. These individuals have built lives, contributed to their families, to their communities and to the country that welcomed them with compassion at a time of need.
“As the Administration considers the future of the program, we urge the Department of Homeland Security to extend TPS protections for people from Central American and Caribbean countries including Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti. Termination of TPS would uproot hundreds of thousands of people, make them even more vulnerable and further undermine the United States’ identity as a welcoming nation. With nearly 275,000 U.S.-citizen children with a parent with TPS status, ending TPS status will unnecessarily split up families and threaten the well-being of American children.
“Leviticus commands, ‘when strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt’ (19:33-34). Our ancient text and sacred tradition inspire our commitment to aiding those who are at risk and help to ensure their security among us. We hope DHS will change course, protect the vulnerable, and extend TPS protections for individuals from the remaining countries that qualify.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.
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