For Immediate Release
Friday, September 18, 2020
I am greatly dismayed by the recent decision of the 9th Circuit Court of appeals to lift the injunction halting the federal government’s effort to end the Temporary Protected Status of more than 200,000 individuals living legally in the United States under this program. These vulnerable members of our society are already suffering more than others from the effects of the pandemic on their physical, mental and economic welfare. Rather than this unjust treatment, we owe them a debt of gratitude as they have continued to risk their health as essential workers in hospitals, food service and production, and other industries.
It is particularly distressing to consider the impact of this decision on their children, who could face separation from their parents if they are forced to return to their native country and the harsh conditions they fled. Here in Maryland alone, an estimated 19,800 Salvadorans who are TPS holders are parents to 17,100 U.S.-born children; another 1,900 Hondurans living in our state are parents to 1,300 U.S.-born children. The plight of these children must be a concern for all of us.
The Catholic Church, both in our country and in Central America, continues to minister to the needs of these families, and we are committed to offering them our support and compassion. Congress must act to give them the legal protection to which they are entitled. Along with the U.S. Conference of Bishops, I urgently appeal to the U.S. Senate to take up the American Dream and Promise Act, which the House passed last year, and to ensure that the devastating consequences of this decision will be prevented.
About the Archdiocese of Baltimore
The Archdiocese of Baltimore, established as a diocese in 1789, is the Premier See of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The archdiocese serves more than a half-million Catholics and encompasses most of the state of Maryland, serving the greater community in various ways.
Mary Ellen Russell