close
close

Minnesota city leaders call for temporary protected status for Ecuador • Minnesota Reformer

Three Minnesota city councils — Minneapolis, St. Paul and Columbia Heights — have passed resolutions supporting Temporary Protected Status for Ecuador, a federal immigration designation for countries in crisis. TPS would allow Ecuadorians already in the U.S. to live and work legally for as long as the designation is active.

a collective of Ecuadorians in Minneapolis has lobbied elected officials at all levels of government to support TPS and raise awareness for the campaign.

At a news conference Wednesday, Ecuadorian immigrants stood alongside city leaders and staff from COPAL, a nonprofit organization that organizes Latinos to work on state labor, economic and political issues.

“I am very excited that we have a City Council that stands strong and supports our Ecuadorian community, but I also know that this fight is not over and that we must do more than just this resolution as we help our immigrant community in the United States States,” said Minneapolis Councilman Jason Chavez.

U.S. immigration authorities may designate a country for TPS if conditions in that country are so dangerous that U.S. authorities cannot safely deport its citizens.

In Ecuador, an economic downturn caused by the pandemic coincided with the rise of drug cartels and associated violence. Since 2018, the number of murders has increased quadrupled. Violence has led to temporary school closures. In January, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency and said the country was facing an “internal armed conflict.”

Grace Puchaicela, one of the members of the collective, said that for many Ecuadorians, “the desperate idea of ​​migrating to the United States… becomes the only option to escape violence and poverty.”

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, is author of a House bill that would grant TPS to Ecuador. But with anti-immigration Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, and increased concerns about the crisis at the southern border, no progress has been made on the bill.

Although Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas can unilaterally appoint TPS for Ecuador, he is under heavy scrutiny by the Republicans of the US House of Representatives, who impeached him this year.

In March, Omar and other Democrats sent a message letter to Mayorkas and Secretary of State Andrew Blinken, urging federal agencies to consider TPS designation for Ecuador.

In response, Ur Mendoza Jaddou, director of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, wrote: “DHS continues to monitor conditions in Ecuador and remains committed to equitably administering its programs, including TPS.”

Currently, more than a dozen countries have been designated for TPS, including Afghanistan, Somalia, El Salvador, Haiti, Syria and Ukraine.

Back To Top