October 11, 2023

Castro, Cherfilus-McCormick, Salazar, and Frost Lead Letter Asking President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, and Director Jaddou to Redesignate TPS Status for Nicaraguans

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20) led a letter with María Elvira Salazar (FL-27), and Maxwell Frost (FL-20) to President Biden, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ur Jaddou asking the Biden Administration to redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua.

“As the Ortega-Murillo regime becomes increasingly authoritarian and brutal, there is no safe way for hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans to return home,” said Congressman Castro. “Redesignating TPS for Nicaragua will save lives and protect the families who have fled from oppression and violence to find refuge in the United States.”

"Nicaragua is enmeshed in a dire socio-political and humanitarian crisis that has grown considerably worse,” said Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick. “Nicaraguans residing in the United States cannot safely return to their country, and it would be both irresponsible and cruel to send them back into harm’s way. I strongly urge the Biden Administration to redesignate TPS for Nicaragua and uphold our nation’s values of democracy, human rights, and compassion."

“The blood-stained Ortega-Murillo regime and the Sandinistas are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses and acts of religious persecutions in history,” said Congresswoman  Salazar. “Hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled this tyranny and are seeking refuge in the United States. I call on the Department of Homeland Security to redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans who are continuing to flee from the Ortegas, the Sandinistas, and the horrors of Socialism of the 21st Century.”

“Nicaragua is facing a devastating political and humanitarian crisis that is forcing hundreds of thousands of innocent people to make the difficult decision to leave their homes in search of true freedom,” said Congressman Frost. “As a beacon of democracy, the U.S. has a responsibility to acknowledge this crisis and offer a more permanent solution to the thousands of Nicaraguans living in Florida and across our country. An extension of TPS falls short of what this moment calls for — I urge the Administration to redesignate TPS for Nicaragua as soon as possible.”

“We commend the Biden Administration’s decision to re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans in the United States. However, an 18-month extension of TPS for Nicaragua instead of TPS redesignation falls short of the response needed to address the multiple ongoing and emergent crises. We are hopeful that the Biden Administration will continue to evaluate the situation and ultimately make the correct decision in light of the impact it would have on approximately 450,000 Nicaraguans in the United States. On September 11, 2023, Secretary Mayorkas stated that the Department of Homeland Security does not “have any intention right now to re-designate Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status,” but added that they “continuously review the country conditions.” We expect that a closer examination of the dire humanitarian situation in Nicaragua and the uncertainty of thousands who reside in the United States – including more than 200 who have been rendered stateless – will lead to a finding that TPS redesignation is necessary for Nicaragua. Given this and the deteriorating rule of law situation, we urgently request your administration to re-designate TPS for Nicaragua,” the members wrote.

According to the Pew Research Center, Florida has the highest concentration of Nicaraguans nationwide, with an estimated 37% of the U.S.-based Nicaraguan population residing in the state. Redesignation would provide security and opportunity to the over 400,000 Nicaraguans living in the United States and waiting in legal limbo.

The text of the letter can be found here.

Additional signatories of the letter include Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Lou Correa (D-CA), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Abigail Spanberger (D-NJ), Shri Thanedar (D-MI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), David Trone (D-MD), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).