AOC Leads Push for TPS for Ecuadorians

AOC Introduces NDAA Amendments on South America, Climate, Justice Reform

A group of 24 members of Congress, led by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY–14), Rob Menendez (NJ–8), and Adriano Espaillat (NY–13), penned a letter urging the Biden administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ecuadorians residing in the United States. The letter highlights the escalating violence in Ecuador, emphasizing the urgent need for protection for Ecuadorian immigrants.

Ecuador has witnessed a concerning surge in violence over the past couple of years, with a drastic increase in violent deaths between 2022 and 2023. President Daniel Noboa declared the nation to be in an “internal armed conflict,” as armed groups continue to pose threats to various sectors of society, including the press, medical institutions, community leaders, and the public at large.

“While the Biden Administration has extended assistance to the Ecuadorian Government, this does not adequately address the plight of over 450,000 Ecuadorian immigrants residing in the United States,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter.

Additionally, Ecuador has emerged as the second-highest source country for asylum seekers in New York City since 2022, underscoring the pressing need for protective measures.

The letter further emphasizes the challenges faced by Ecuadorian immigrants, many of whom are currently in removal proceedings and face imminent deportation despite fleeing insecurity in their home country. A TPS designation would provide relief to numerous individuals within the Ecuadorian community, allowing families to remain together and granting eligibility for work authorization to support themselves.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and a cohort of representatives from various states joined in co-signing the letter, amplifying the call for action. Their efforts aim to shield Ecuadorian immigrants from deportation to a conflict-ridden zone and ensure their safety and well-being in the United States.

In response to the initiative, several endorsing organizations have voiced their support. New York City Mayor Eric Adams stressed the importance of TPS designation for Ecuadorians, highlighting the valuable contributions they make to local communities. Vicente Mayorga, Immigration Organizer at Make the Road New York, emphasized the necessity of protecting Ecuadorian immigrants from separation and deportation, advocating for permanent protections for all immigrants.

Antonio Arizaga, President of Frente Unido de Inmigrantes Ecuatorianos, expressed gratitude for the congressional support, emphasizing the significant contributions of Ecuadorians to the United States’ development. Similarly, Walther Sinchi, President of Alianza Ecuatoriana, underscored the vital role of TPS in providing Ecuadorians with opportunities for decent work and protection while contributing to the nation’s economy.

The collective efforts of lawmakers and endorsing organizations reflect a unified call to prioritize the safety and well-being of Ecuadorian immigrants, urging swift action from the Biden administration to grant TPS designation and provide essential protections to this vulnerable community.

The full text of the letter can be accessed here.

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