Tip Sheets

TPS extension alone will not fix the migrant crisis, but a ‘whole of government’ approach could

Media Contact

Kaitlyn Serrao

The Biden administration is extending and redesignating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans, allowing hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans to work in the country legally.

Stephen Yale-Loehr

Professor of immigration law

Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School, says this is a good first step to address the recent surge in migrant arrivals, but more needs to be done.

Yale-Loehr says:

“The TPS redesignation means that Venezuelans can immediately apply for work permits, unlike asylum seekers, who must wait 6 months before they can get work permits. This will help ease the strain on New York and other cities dealing with large surges in recent migrant arrivals.

“Extending TPS for Venezuelans will not entirely fix the problem, however. Citizens from other countries that don’t have TPS will continue to create fiscal problems because they can’t immediately work. And increasing numbers of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border ensures that this problem will continue.

“This issue can be de-escalated and resolved through a whole of government approach. First, Congress should appropriate money to help all states that are housing these migrants. Second, the White House should convene a conference of state and federal officials to come up with creative and cooperative solutions. Third, NY and other state legislatures should allocate money to help migrants find housing and get trained to help resolve labor shortages.”

Shannon Gleeson

Professor of Labor Relations, Law & History

Shannon Gleeson is a professor of labor relations, law and history at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She says the Venezuelan migrant population is not unique, and TPS benefits should be reconsidered for the nearly 8-million undocumented workers in the U.S.

Gleeson says:

“The extension of TPS to Venezuelan migrants is a welcome move from President Biden. Employer sanctions policies (in place for nearly four decades) otherwise ensure an underground economy and make labor standards enforcement for all workers much harder.

“The long-term benefit of TPS should also be considered in the broader context of challenges that short-term status with no pathway to citizenship pose to both employers and workers.

“Leaders must also continue to be vigilant about the discriminatory ways in which deportation relief and work authorization continue to be applied to migrants across the country, leaving a pathway to some, but not others.”

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