Tags: Homeland Security | Immigration | Latin America | Trump Administration | Trump Refugee Ban | haitians | salvadorans

Fla GOP Rep: There's No 'Appetite' to Grow Immigration

Fla GOP Rep: There's No 'Appetite' to Grow Immigration
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. (Bill Clark/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 November 2017 08:12 PM

A Florida GOP lawmaker reportedly doubts fellow Republicans care 200,000 Haitians and Salvadorans will be forced out of the United States after a decades-old Temporary Protected Status program expires.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said Tuesday the majority of Congress "would not know what TPS is" if asked — and there is not an appetite from Republicans to give program recipients a way to permanently remain in the United States, McClatchy reported.

"I spoke yesterday about TPS, had hardly anyone ask me about it," she said, McClatchy reported. "I spoke again [Tuesday] about TPS, radio silence from my colleagues."

"There's just no interest for immigration reform generally, and I don't think there's much appetite to help these two particular groups of people," she said. "It hurts to say it, but it's the political reality."

The entire Miami delegation in Congress — Democrats and Republicans — are united behind a bill by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., to allow a path to permanent residency for Haitians, Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Nicaraguans covered by the Temporary Protected Status program, McClatchy noted.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that TPS will expire in 2019 for Nicaraguans, while Hondurans will get a six month extension until July 2018. The Trump administration has not yet announced a determination for Haitians and Salvadorans.

"While I'm disappointed in the administration's announcement, these continued short-term extensions have created anxiety and uncertainty not only for these immigrants and their families, but also for their employers and neighbors whose prosperity also depends on them," Curbelo said in a statement. "Congress has an opportunity to change that, and I'm grateful the administration has called for a permanent solution from Congress."

A permanent solution will be a challenge, McClatchy reported, noting conservative Republicans have railed against any attempt to expand immigration.

"For Congress to take over what has traditionally been a legislative branch decision and to say, 'No, we will take it over and we will extend it,' I don't think there's any appetite for that," Ros-Lehtinen said, McClatchy reported.

"It's taken us a long time to get where we are, to get a lot of people in favor of a legislative fix for Dreamers. That's where the priority is. It does not mean that I think less of Hondurans, Nicaraguans, or Haitians, obviously not. But I know between what I want and the reality is a whole mile, and that is not going to happen."

According to McClatchy, Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are both in favor of extending the program for an additional 18 months.

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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said Tuesday the majority of Congress "would not know what TPS is" if asked — and there is not an appetite from Republicans to give program recipients a way to permanently remain in the United States, McClatchy reported.
haitians, salvadorans, republicans, florida
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2017-12-07
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 08:12 PM
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