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NEA President: America has moral obligation to protect TPS beneficiaries

Lily Eskelsen García: to force families to return to Nicaragua now is inhumane and dangerous

WASHINGTON - November 07, 2017 -

The Trump administration announced its decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua, effectively putting at risk of deportation the lives of thousands of families who have legally worked and resided in the United States for decades. TPS allows immigrants from other countries to live and work in the U.S. due to war or natural disasters in their home countries.

In addition, the fate of hundreds of thousands of TPS beneficiaries – including 275,000 children – lies in the hands of the Trump administration as they await a decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to make a decision about lifting their protected status. NEA adamantly opposes ending TPS protection for beneficiaries from other countries, including Honduras and Haiti in the upcoming months.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“Those who benefit from the TPS program are our friends, neighbors, and, yes, our students. They fled some of the world’s most dangerous places and survived some of the worst natural disasters. They have lived and worked lawfully in the United States for decades. They deserve the protection and the ability to stay in our country and continue to contribute to our nation’s economic well-being.

“Forcing them to return to their countries now is inhumane. Given the existing conditions in Nicaragua, those returning there would risk their lives. It is deeply troubling that the Trump administration continues to move down this path to deport our most vulnerable. That’s not what this country is about. That is not what we do. We do not turn our backs on people seeking refuge.

“We urge the Trump administration to reconsider its decision to remove protected status for these aspiring new Americans and to prevent an unnecessary tragedy from happening. We have a moral obligation to protect these families now and in the upcoming months.”

Follow the conversation at @NEAMedia #SaveTPS

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  202-822-7823,