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Brooks Introduces Legislation to Reform TPS Program

November 17, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) introduced the TPS Reform Act (H.R. 6345) to bring much needed reform to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.  The TPS program was established as a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country because of ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster, among other reasons.  However, “Temporary” Protected Status is de facto permanent, as under current law, it is almost certain to be repeatedly renewed every 12 or 18 months.  The TPS Reform Act would shift authority from the Executive and empower Congress to designate a nation’s participation in the TPS program, and it would set strict but reasonable maximum lengths for TPS duration. 

Original cosponsors of the TPS Reform Act include Congressmen Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Steve King (IA-4), Paul Gosar (AZ-4), Walter Jones (NC-3), Dave Brat (VA-7), and Brian Babin (TX-36).  The TPS Reform Act is endorsed by NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.  

Congressman Brooks said, “Temporary Protected Status is not meant to be permanent.  My bill, the TPS Reform Act, would remove TPS protection from illegal immigrants, strip the Executive Branch of the authority to designate TPS, and give that power back to Congress.  More than 300,000 illegal aliens may reside in the United States under the description of TPS.  They are often granted extensions to their ‘temporary’ status giving them many benefits such as work permits, Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, and more.  Congress must put American citizens first and take back control of our immigration system.”

Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations at NumbersUSA praised the TPS Reform Act and commented, “The Executive Branch has been abusing this temporary, humanitarian program for 26 years, using it as a de facto amnesty program.  This bill would restore critical oversight by Congress.”

The Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian, wrote, “The government's site says 'TPS does not lead to permanent resident status,' and strictly speaking, that is correct; the attorney general can terminate it, at which point the people in question revert to their original status—i.e., in most cases go back to being illegal aliens.  But in practice, TPS is renewed as many times as necessary to ensure that no one is deported.  Only in the smallest of cases, involving a few dozen or at most a few hundred people, has this 'temporary' status actually been ended without everyone getting a green card, and as far as I know, no one has ever been made to leave because they lost TPS.”

Federation for American Immigration Reform Executive Director, Dan Stein, noted, “Our laws should not reward illegal immigrants to the United States regardless of the political or natural upheavals in their homelands.  Otherwise, experience shows that we will encourage further illegal immigration.  By now, we should have learned from experience that TPS is misnamed—what we offer as ‘temporary’ protection is most often seen by the aliens residing illegally in the United States as a foot in the door to legal permanent residence.  They are happy to accept our offer of humanitarian concern, but they have no intention of departing the United States when TPS status expires.”