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The National Immigrant Justice Center joins a growing chorus calling for the Biden administration to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Central American countries devastated in November 2020 by Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador remain displaced from their homes over a year later and still are experiencing food and water insecurity. As a result, thousands of migrants who live in the United States also are unable to safely return to the region.

Congress established TPS to provide the president the authority to designate temporary legal protection for individuals from countries impacted by national disasters and war, so that they may lawfully remain in the United States and work until it is safe to return home. Designating TPS for these Central American countries would allow people the peace of mind of knowing they can stay safely in their U.S. communities and provide financial support for their loved ones back home.

The Biden administration has an opportunity — and an obligation — to provide a lifeline to neighbors in both the United States and Central America through a TPS designation. Further delay will only compound the tragedy and trauma for individuals and families already struggling to heal from the damage wrought by these natural disasters.