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Coalition Calls on United States to Grant Temporary Protected Status for Ecuadorian Immigrants

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@nyic.org
New York  (Monday, May 23, 2016)

Coalition Calls on United States to Grant Temporary Protected Status for Ecuadorian Immigrants

(New York, NY) Following a second series of strong earthquakes in Ecuador on Wednesday, May 18th, the Ecuadorian government formally asked the United States to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ecuadorians living in the U.S while the country recovers from the series of massive earthquakes that have left over 700 people dead, thousands injured, and over 20,000 people homeless. The United States is home to more than 200,000 undocumented Ecuadorians, with about 65,000 potentially eligible Ecuadorean immigrants residing in New York State. Designating TPS to Ecuador would allow eligible Ecuadorians already present in the United States to work lawfully, travel home to check on their loved ones, and help rebuild their country from halfway across the world.  

The following is a statement from New York Immigration Coalition executive director Steven Choi:

“It has been a little over a month since the first huge earthquake hit Ecuador on April 16th - tragically killing hundreds, injuring thousands, and rendering tens of thousands homeless. The situation in Ecuador is grave, with many fearing additional earthquakes as they try to rebuild their lives. With hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians living in the United States and with New York and the tri-state area being home to the largest community of Ecuadorians in the country, the United States must do its part to ease the suffering of this community by granting TPS.  

"This action will not only follow precedent – the United States has designated countries for TPS when an environmental disaster has substantially disrupted living conditions, and it is not safe for nationals to return - but will also be a humane step in the face of tragedy, by allowing our Ecuadorians community to focus on helping their loved ones back home recover. By a simple act, it is in the power of the United States to ease the suffering felt by this community. We call on DHS Secretary Johnson to designate TPS for Ecuador today.”

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The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)  is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

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