By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, May 25, 2017, US Representative Mo Brooks introduced immigration-related Legislation, the Temporary Protected Status Reform Act (HR2604).
Congressman Brooks said in a statement, “This week, I introduced legislation to reform the abused Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. The TPS program was established as a temporary immigration status granted as a result of a natural disaster or other extraordinary condition. However, “Temporary” Protected Status is de facto permanent, as under current law, it is almost certain to be repeatedly renewed. Years and sometimes decades later, long after the extraordinary conditions have passed, hundreds of thousands of foreign residents remain in the US under TPS status. My bill would ensure that temporary means temporary and provide much needed reform for what has become a long-running amnesty program.”
The TPS program was established in 1990 as a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country as a result of a natural disaster, civil violence, or other extraordinary conditions making the country “unable, temporarily, to adequately handle the return of its nationals.” However over the years, “Temporary” Protected Status” has morphed into de facto permanent, as under current law, it is almost certain to be repeatedly renewed every 12 or 18 months. The TPS Reform Act would shift authority from the Executive and empower Congress to designate a nation’s participation in the TPS program. Further, it would set strict but reasonable maximum lengths for TPS duration.
The Original cosponsors of the TPS Reform Act include Congressmen Louie Gohmert (R from Texas), Steve King (R-Iowa), and Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
The TPS Reform Act is endorsed by NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Congressman Brooks said, “The United States provides Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 300,000 foreign residents. As the name implies, the TPS statute purports to provide temporary relief to foreign residents for a period of 6 to 18 months. However, the Executive repeatedly renews protected status, effectively providing a free and permanent pass into America – including all the benefits that come with it. My bill, the TPS Reform Act would ensure that ‘temporary’ means temporary by establishing clear time limitations and creating statutory tests that must be met to grant the TPS designation. This Legislation provides the needed reform for what has become a long-running amnesty program.”
Federation for American Immigration Reform Executive Director, Dan Stein, noted, “By now, we should have learned from experience that TPS is misnamed—what we offer as ‘temporary’ protection is rarely, if ever, temporary. Most often, unfortunately, it’s used by aliens residing in the United States as a foot in the door to permanent residence. They are certainly happy to receive TPS because it apparently never expires. The true test of TPS as a policy tool is if it ever is, truly temporary. Our laws should not reward illegal immigrants to the United States regardless of the political or natural upheavals in their homelands. Otherwise, experience shows that we will encourage further illegal immigration.”
The Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian, wrote, “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 . . . It’s long past time to fix the TPS statute so that ‘temporary’ no longer means permanent.”
Congressman Brooks has been a very vocal proponent of strengthening America’s borders and a more aggressive focus on enforcing America’s immigration laws.
Brooks is running for US Senate in this year’s Special Election for the seat vacated by Senator Jeff Sessions (R) when he was confirmed as President Trump’s US Attorney General.
The Special Republican Primary is August 15, 2017.
Brooks is in his fourth term representing Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.