Senate Democrats Demand Amnesty For Foreign Nationals

A group of Senate Democrats spearheaded by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have demanded that the United States grant amnesty to foreign nationals living in the country on Temporary Protected Status (TPS). 

Feinstein, along with Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have called on the GOP-controlled Senate to pass their amnesty plan which would give almost a half-million foreign nationals American citizenship and all the votes that come with it. House Democrats and seven House Republicans passed a similar measure granting amnesty to any illegal alien claiming to have arrived in the US as a child, according to Breitbart's John Binder. 

According to Feinstein's website

Currently, there are approximately 437,000 people with TPS in the United States from ten designated countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Liberians, originally granted TPS in 1999, are currently the only country protected by DED – that status is set to terminate on March 31, 2019. The SECURE Act will provide stability for these individuals and their communities by giving them the ability to apply for legal permanent residency. Under the bill, all TPS and DED recipients who qualified under the most recent designation and who have been continuously present in the United States for at least three years would be eligible to apply for legal permanent residency.

In a Wednesday statement, Cardin said "The Senate must act and the president must sign into law protection for Dreamers, who mostly have known no other country but America," adding "These individuals have lawfully lived and worked in the U.S. as our neighbors, as they sought refuge in the U.S. We have an obligation to take action and give needed predictability and safety to people who are in an uncertain status."

In February the Trump administration extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 300,000 foreign nationals while a preliminary injunction against a Trump admin immigration policy to return non-Mexican asylum seekers to Mexico "for the duration of their immigration proceedings" in the United States. 

In February, Pew Research noted that nearly 2/3 of the 300,000 or so immigrants - roughly 195,000 people, are from El Salvador. 50,000 are from Haiti, and the rest are from Sudan and Nicaragua.

TPS was created under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (INA) introduced by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. It has acted as a sort of quasi-amnesty used by foreign nationals who would otherwise be in the country illegally, and shields individuals from deportation back to countries which have suffered through war, famine or natural disasters. 

The program, which was originally set to expire in July 1992, has been renewed by every administration since. 

DHS will announce whether they will also renew the status of other foreign nationals covered under TPS set to expire in 2020, including people from Honduras, Yemen and Somalia. 

Congressional Democrats, however, would rather just make them into voting citizens.