Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)

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Today, in response to House Democrats' planned vote to grant Venezuelans eligibility for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced the "TPS Reform Act" (H.R. 3899). This legislation would:

  • Require that only Congress, not the President, have the authority to vote on and approve a nation's citizens' eligibility for Temporary Protected Status.
  • Set a strict yet reasonable eighteen-month maximum length for TPS duration, requiring an additional Congressional act to renew the designation.
  • Mandate that TPS designations include not only the number of foreign nationals who would be affected but also the immigration status of those foreign nationals.
  • Exclude illegal aliens who are already present in the United States from being granted Temporary Protected Status.

The Temporary Protected Status program was established as a temporary immigration status granted to eligible foreign nationals based on armed conflict, natural disasters, and other related catastrophes. In reality, Temporary Protected Status is not “temporary” at all. Instead, it is more of a de facto permanent protection from deportation for foreign nationals in the United States. Before the Trump administration, no one — not a single person — was ever made to leave because their TPS expired.

According to Congressman Brooks:

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is de facto amnesty. Until the Trump Administration, renewals for eligibility in the program were simply rubber-stamped. Often, TPS is granted to illegal aliens after they are caught by immigration enforcement officials. The TPS program is rife with abuse and desperately needs reform. My bill, the ‘TPS Reform Act,’ would remove TPS protection from illegal aliens, strip the Executive Branch of the authority to designate TPS, and give that power back to Congress so future administrations cannot as easily abuse TPS authority. More than 400,000 illegal aliens may reside in the United States under the description of TPS. TPS eligible illegal aliens may benefits [sic] from work permits, Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, and more. Open-borders Socialist Democrats should put Americans first instead of expanding this badly-broken, often-abused amnesty program.

Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations at NumbersUSA, praised the “TPS Reform Act” stating:

Past administrations have been abusing this temporary, humanitarian program for 29 years, using it as a de facto amnesty program. This bill would restore critical oversight by Congress.

Mark Krikorian, the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote on Congressman Brook's past motions to reform the TPS program:

But what’s really needed is a statutory change. The TPS statute allows the executive to keep renewing this temporary status indefinitely. Instead, we need to change the law, so that the administration can grant TPS, but any extension would require an act of Congress. Our lawmakers still might choose poorly, but at least they’d be on the record and could be pressured by voters.

Updated: Wed, Aug 7th 2019 @ 12:05pm EDT