July 25, 2018

Menendez on State Dept. Release of Internal Documents Related to TPS for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti

Documents substantiate Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Investigation that found the Trump Administration put U.S. national security and the safety of TPS beneficiaries and their U.S.-citizen children at risk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today renewed his criticism of the Trump Administration’s overtly political decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti. The Senator’s statement comes after the State Department released a series of internal documents as part of a lawsuit challenging the process that led to the termination of TPS protections for hundreds of thousands of Central Americans and other immigrants legally living in the United States.

“Today’s document release further confirms how the Trump Administration’s reckless anti-immigrant agenda jeopardizes our national security interests in Central America and the safety of TPS beneficiaries and their U.S. citizen children.

As evidenced by today’s publication, former Secretary Tillerson made it clear that ending TPS for El Salvador and Honduras would have major repercussions, including a likely backlash that weakened our cooperation to combat the drug trade and criminal gangs in Central America. And yet, the Trump Administration did it anyway.

The State Department was also right in warning the Department of Homeland Security that ending these protections would leave TPS beneficiaries and their U.S.-citizen children vulnerable to criminal violence and gang recruitment by MS-13. And yet, the Trump Administration did it anyway.

Beyond turning an entire community of legal residents into undocumented individuals, the State Department also cautioned that ending TPS for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti would likely accelerate unauthorized immigration to the United States. The Trump Administration did it anyway.

The fact that the Trump Administration is knowingly putting our national security and the safety of TPS beneficiaries and U.S.-citizen children at risk is appalling and unacceptable. I once again call on Secretaries Nielsen and Pompeo to reverse this decision.”

The documents published today were part of the materials the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviewed as part of its investigation into then-Secretary Rex Tillerson’s recommendation to not extend TPS for several countries in the Western Hemisphere.


On May 4, Senator Menendez requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) review the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti. That review is currently underway. According to the Center for American Progress, New Jersey is home to nearly 14,000 TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti, and nearly 9,000 children whose parents are TPS beneficiaries. 

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