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Congress should act to reinstate temporary immigration status

Gerald Michaud is one of the many Haitians facing deportation after the temporary protected status they received after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The recent emergency measures taken to protect the children of Maryland parents who face deportation highlight the far-reaching impacts of the cancellation of “temporary protected status.”

TPS is a humanitarian program, recently terminated by the Trump administration (“Trump to end Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans,” Jan. 8, 2018), which gave me, my wife, and many others the chance to live and work in the United States. If Congress doesn't act, not only will my family face great hardship, but it will cause economic damage to our community.

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It has been more than 20 years since I arrived in the United States. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. All I had was my determination to work hard and my faith that God would deliver me. Now, I have spent more than half of my life — nearly all of my adult life — in the United States. I've made a career for myself in construction by renovating government buildings and am a member of the labor union LIUNA Local 202. My children, ages 13 and 19, are U.S. citizens. I work hard to support my family.

The opportunity to live and work in the United States is something I will always be grateful for, but since the termination of temporary protected status, I worry about not only who will take care of my children, but that my family will be torn apart. I worry that I will lose my job and the house I own. I worry that we will no longer be able to financially support our children and the education of my son, who just started college. The life we worked so hard to build is at risk if Congress doesn’t save temporary protected status.

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Noel Aguilar

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