Wyden Joins Colleagues to Introduce Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency (SECURE) Act to Allow Qualifying Recipients to Apply for Permanent Residency

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he is co-sponsoring the SECURE Act, which will allow qualified Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for legal permanent residency.

“Families facing threats in their native land deserve a path to citizenship, especially considering the danger and volatility they fled in their home countries,” Wyden said. “I can’t help but be reminded of how my Jewish parents lived in fear for years under Nazi rule. For German Jews like my parents, finding refuge in the United States was a matter of life or death. We must provide families in similar straits today with a way forward.”

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is granted to nationals of countries who cannot return to their home country due to dangerous circumstances, including ongoing armed conflict; an environmental disaster or epidemic; and/or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Because TPS is granted for set time periods ranging from six to 18 months, decisions must be made on a recurring basis to extend recipients’ legal status. Every time their TPS status is extended by DHS, TPS recipients must submit a new application and pass a clean background check. In many cases, TPS has been extended for decades as country conditions have failed to improve, and recipients have built lives, started businesses, and raised children in the United States.

With the State Department issuing these clear warnings to  U.S. citizens and government employees, it is cruel to force TPS recipients and their children to return to unstable and dangerous conditions. The SECURE Act will provide for their continued security with the families and communities they have built in the United States.

As of October 2020, there were about 411,000 people with TPS in the United States from ten designated countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. More than 90 percent are from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.

Along with Wyden, the SECURE Act introduced by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, is co-sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Mark Warner, D-Va., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

A web version of this release is here.