TPS Bus Tour Heads to Riverhead

(Courtesy photo via RiverheadLOCAL)

On Oct. 3, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending temporary protected status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. While the ruling comes as temporary relief for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from those countries, the future remains uncertain for them and the other TPS holders whose status will be terminated – this includes immigrants from Honduras and Nepal.

Eliminating this uncertainty and protecting TPS holders are the goals of the “TPS Journey for Justice” bus, which started its tour across the U.S. on Aug. 17 from Los Angeles. On Sunday, it will make its way to Riverhead on Long Island where the dozens of immigrants and advocates aboard will encourage supporting permanent residency for TPS holders and strive to put a human face on the issue.

The National TPS Alliance, composed of more than dozens of nonprofits and committees, organized the tour. The Riverhead-based coordinator for the Alliance, himself one of the more than 14,700 Salvadoran TPS holders on Long Island, spoke to Maria Piedrabuena of RiverheadLOCAL.

According to National TPS Alliance Riverhead committee coordinator Miguel Flores of East Quogue, the purpose of the “TPS Journey for Justice” is to raise awareness at the local level on this issue by bringing to each town they stop at — about 40 in total — “a sample of TPS holders from across America” so people can see that they are “real, good, hard-working individuals, whose families will be permanently affected, even separated.”

Along the way, different TPS holders from different states have gotten on and off the bus.

“We are not criminals, we have been living in America for decades and in order to do that we cannot have a [criminal] record. We are business owners, we have families. We think communities across the U.S., especially white people, should know we are good people and contributing members of society,” Flores said.

Flores will board the bus on Sunday and travel with the group to tell his story. Go to RiverheadLOCAL to find out how the end of TPS would completely upend his life and “result in a massive economic hit to Long Island.”

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