Painters Union Vows Support for Workers as DHS Terminates Protective Status for Nicaraguan Families
The Department of Homeland Security decided to terminate the Temporary Protective Status or TPS for hundreds of thousands of documented immigrants from Nicaragua.
“This is unconscionable, a threat to our economy and undermines the fabric of American society. We are a nation built by immigrants and their children. Terminating the status of these workers will have a chilling effect on the construction industry and the ability of developers, contractors and unions to fulfill the workforce needs of that industry,” officials said.
No less than 23 percent of TPS recipients have found gainful employment in the construction industry as union members.
“These are our members, brothers and sisters, our neighbors and community members who contribute greatly to our society and economy,” officials said.
The Nicaraguan workers are documented, pay taxes and are able to send money home to help rebuild the economies of their home countries, creating the stability needed for a safe return, just as TPS was established to do. The termination of the TPS program for many of these workers will devastate their lives, as they know it, leaving them in a vulnerable position while facing possible deportation.
“The decision of DHS to terminate TPS would have immediate, expensive ramifications for our country and industry costing taxpayers $3 billion, a $45 billion reduction in GDP, $6.9 billion reduction in Social Security and Medicare contributions and nearly $1 billion in employer costs combined with and already stressed skilled worker pool. Industry icons such as, The Walt Disney Company, has moved the Chamber of Commerce to publicly appeal to DHS to extend TPS for the 300,000 plus beneficiaries that keep local businesses running,” officials said.
“As a union who stands for all worker’s rights, regardless of race, religion, gender or country of origin and as Americans, who work tirelessly to ensure that we have a strong and vibrant economy that works in the best interest … including the most vulnerable among us, we hereby vow to support a strong coalition action to demand that Congress act on a more permanent solution for TPS immediately,” said Ken Rigmaiden, Gen. President of IUPAT.