Temporary protected status is granted to people coming here from countries affected by earthquakes, severe hurricanes or war. According to a recent report from the Center for Migration Studies:

Over 90 percent of the people with this status are from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.

About 30 percent are homeowners.

Over half of the people from El Salvador and Honduras who have temporary protected status have been here 20 or more years.

 Eighty-seven percent speak English.

Twenty-two percent came before they were 16 years old.

 Between 81 percent and 88 percent are employed.

These people work in construction, child care, food service, home care and farming. They have become part of our communities, sending their children to school. They are grateful for safety, housing and health care for their families.

We are an aging state and we lack adequate workers for these demanding jobs. We both benefit from them being here. These countries are poor, lack government services, have violent gangs. Would you bring your family there?

Ending temporary protected status would cause many to leave citizen children and spouses behind, breaking up families.

Most of us have ancestors who came here to work and build a better life. They, too, did the toughest jobs and were poorly treated, but the next generation fit into our society.

Please encourage our government leaders to allow these people to stay.

Sister Jackie Moreau

Portland