The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the US-based faith investment group whose members have more than $400bn in assets, is working on an investor letter to Congressional leaders urging them to maintain ‘Temporary Protected Status’ (TPS) for immigrants as a business imperative, after the government announced last week the programme would be further revoked.
Congress created TPS in the 1990s as a temporary and renewable way for presidents wanting to offer non-US citizens respite from deportation due to home country conditions. It includes a work permit and other benefits normally only accessible to legal immigrants.
Last week, the Trump administration announced that after July 2019 Salvadoran immigrants would lose TPS. It has already been revoked for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. Decisions on maintaining TPS for Syria, Nepal, Honduras, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan are pending.
The ICCR is seeking supporting signatories for a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asking them to pass a “permanent, legislative solution that protects all TPS holders from deportation and family separation as a moral and a business imperative”.The draft letter says: “As investors, we are concerned that the failure to reinstate and extend TPS designations for all populations while working on a more permanent solution will negatively affect the businesses we invest in.”
“Failure to reinstate and extend TPS designations will negatively affect the businesses we invest in.”
It cites figures from the US Chamber of Commerce that estimates that TPS populations from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti make up a significant amount of the workforce in key industries such as construction, food processing and hospitality.
The letter urges Congress to allow all TPS holders to remain in the US for at least 18 months so they can pursue a path to naturalization. As well as making the business case, it also argues that 273,000 US citizen children have a TPS holder parent.
Last year, the ICCR launched a new initiative designed to expand collective investor action on a range of critical human rights issues.