NNIRR Statement on SCOTUS TPS decision & VP visit to Central America

Photo by Victoria Pickering

NNIRR’s Statement on the SCOTUS TPS Ruling VP Harris’ Trip to Central America to address the root causes of migration discourage migration

SCOTUS Ruling Against TPS

The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) is deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court ruling on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder eligibility for permanent resident status. This convoluted decision means that those with TPS status who did not enter the U.S. with authorization are not eligible to apply for legal permanent residency despite having been granted TPS. This ruling is bound to strike fear and confusion in the TPS community, and it undermines Biden campaign promises to bring relief  and protection for immigrants — including a path to citizenship for those with temporary status and the undocumented. The Biden administration could have abandoned this case before the Supreme Court, but instead proceeded with this outcome.

According to this ruling, people who had fled for their lives due to violence, political instability, natural disasters, and other crises in their home countries and were granted TPS for those reasons, are not eligible to petition to adjust their status if they did not enter the U.S. with permission.

This ruling increases demands on Congress to enact legislation that provides a path to citizenship. There are several avenues for this in the House and Senate — but there is little political will or viable agreement. TPS, DACA, essential workers, and all undocumented should have access to a path to citizenship. The time to act is now!

Our demands:

  • extend TPS for Cameroon, Mauritania, Bahamas, St. Vincent, Somalia, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Sudan, and Nepal;
  • address the racism and flaws within our immigration system and deliver solutions to ensure racial equity and immigrant justice; and
  • push for Congressional action for immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented migrants, without harmful tradeoffs or exclusions.

Addressing the Root Causes of Migration?

Vice President Kamala Harris has been on a series of visits to Central America and Mexico this week to promote the Biden administration’s agenda to address root causes of migration. The U.S. has pledged $4 billion dollars in investments in the region over 4 years for this purpose — yet exactly how, for what and for whom this financial assistance is destined are big and controversial concerns. The past track record of the U.S. on this front doesn’t bode well for addressing the causes of forced migration.

Speaking in Guatemala, Vice President Harris conveyed to the very people forced to migrate due to these root causes:

“Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.” 

These words send a wrong and dangerous message, and certainly do not square with Biden’s promises for fair, just and humane immigration policies, and directly undercut the right to seek refuge in the U.S. under asylum laws.

Addressing the root causes of migration means alleviating the conditions that force people to migrate — so that migration is a choice and not a necessity for safety and survival. Understandably, such changes do not take place overnight, even when there is the political will. In the meantime, a commitment to human rights should be unwavering.

While there have been baby steps to fix the most egregious anti-immigrant actions of the past administration, many of the deep-seeded and racist immigration policies that criminalize immigrants and refugees remain intact — including those instituted under both Republican and Democratic administrations. The Biden administration is commended for stating it will address the root causes of migration, but while doing so, it must be held accountable to uphold rights and to extend protections for those who seek refuge.


The most immediate action you can take right now? Sign this petition to demand Biden open the door to refugees and take proactive steps to reach the goal for admissions that he has set for this fiscal year.

Sign the Petition to Hold Biden Accountable for meeting the Refugee Admissions Goal! 

Many of you signed our original petition to demand Biden increase refugee admissions from 15K to 62,500 this year. After much pressure, Biden reversed course, but now we must keep the pressure on to make sure his administration keeps his promise to admit and welcome 62,500 refugees into our country. While the administration has committed to restoring regional allocation for refugee slots, the next step in repairing harms and trauma from the previous administration is to welcome more refugees to the United States.

Biden has set the goal, but now we must hold him accountable.



NNIRR turned 35 this month!

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Every dollar makes a difference. Your contributions support NNIRR’s work to:

  • advocate for immigration policy that centers human rights
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  • spotlight human rights organizing at the US-Mexico border
  • advocate for international migrant rights and human rights at borders at the UN and other international agencies
  • organize at the intersection of climate justice and migrant rights


Oakland, CA | El Paso, TX | nnirrinfo@nnirr.org | nnirr.org

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