Joe Biden Urged To Grant 2.2 Million Deferred Enforced Departure On ‘Day One Of His Presidency’

Joe Biden is being urged to promise roughly 2.2 million people at risk of future deportation protections to remain in the U.S. on “day one of his presidency” if he wins the upcoming November election.

In a letter shared exclusively with this publication, more than 200 organizations and groups, including Alianza Americas, Amnesty International USA, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, the Oxfam America Action Fund, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and dozens of others, are calling on Biden to grant Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to those at risk of losing Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Under the U.S.’s TPS program, hundreds of thousands of people from countries affected by war, natural disasters and other crises are allowed to stay in the U.S. temporarily.

As it stands, however, under the Trump administration, more than 400,000 current TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan “are at serious risk of losing their work permits and protection from deportation,” the letter states.

Many TPS holders have been left in limbo as their fates rest “in the hands of multiple federal district court injunctions that have thus far prevented the termination of their TPS status,” it continues.

“These TPS holders cannot wait for the legislative process,” the letter, which is being shared with Biden’s campaign on Friday, states. “For these individuals, an immediate DED grant would ensure there are no gaps in their work authorization or protection from deportation.”

While Biden has vowed as part of his campaign platform to “immediately review every [TPS] decision made by the Trump administration to ensure that no one is returned to a country that is not safe,” in addition to seeking to provide a “path to citizenship” in the U.S. for longstanding TPS holders, the letter’s signatories say he can and should go further by guaranteeing DED to not only the hundreds of thousands at risk of losing TPS status, but also to roughly 1.8 million others who could stand to benefit on his first day in office.

“Respectfully…these commitments are insufficient,” the letter states. “If elected president, you will have the authority to protect these populations from day one, and we ask that you exercise that authority.”

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Chantal Da Silva