Saying that the program has been abused, the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this year it that would be moving to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 immigrants in the U.S.
Under TPS, immigrants from countries that have suffered a natural or man-made disaster are allowed to live and work in the U.S. while their home country recovers.
Now six Florida Democratic members of Congress – Alcee Hastings, Stephanie Murphy, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Darren Soto, Frederica Wilson and Kathy Castor – are part of a larger group of more than 80 House Democrats calling for the Inspector General of Homeland Security to investigate what led to the decision.
“We believe that DHS engaged in questionable, and potentially unlawful conduct,” a Dec. 4 letter addressed to Acting Inspector General John Kelly reads.
Specifically, the Congressional members say that DHS follows “inappropriate” decision-making criteria to determine what countries qualify for TPS status; the department failed to re-designate Syria, Somalia and Yemen for TPS status; the department has “historic delays” for people re-registering for TPS status; DHS uses arbitrary tactics to go about agency business that are “inefficient” and that “wastes taxpayer dollars”; and the department deliberately spreads misinformation to the public, including delaying the release of public information which has affected thousands of people with TPS status.
The Congressional members say they want to “prevent these abuses from reoccurring in the future” and look to the Inspector General to also “recommend appropriate disciplinary action” for the people responsible for what the Democrats label as DHS’s misconduct.