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Ahead of today’s Judiciary Committee mark-up of the reconciliation package, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a statement emphasizing the importance of providing pathways to citizenship for those residents with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through the reconciliation process. The full statement follows.

“Over the past month, I have heard from countless constituents who are in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). I have the privilege of calling these individuals constituents entirely thanks to their courage and determination in risking their lives to escape treacherous conditions of environmental disasters, violence and corruption back home. There are more than 40,800 TPS holders in New York. Today, the U.S. is their only refuge and their only home.

In New York’s 14th Congressional District, many of these constituents hail from Nepal, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and Sudan, among other countries. They have lived in the U.S. for decades, becoming part of the backbone of our local and national economies. While TPS has allowed them to stay in the U.S., it has also put their lives perpetually in limbo, as TPS holders must wait every few months to find out if the program has been renewed.

This month, Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish pathways to citizenship and finally provide these individuals — along with Dreamers, farm workers, and essential workers — the stability they deserve. It is the least we can do, given our country’s direct contributions to the climate and governance disasters many of them are fleeing.”