Before the end of the year the Trump administration will be making decisions on the future of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations. This means that the lives of more than 325,000 people—including 250,000 Central American immigrants—now hang in the balance.
In this fourth installment of the TPSeano Series, we look at how ending TPS protections could impact the financial services industry. Our earlier posts in the series discussed the impact on the construction industry, what temporary protected status is and what is at stake.
THE EFFECT ON THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
The decision to end TPS would not only be irresponsible from construction perspective; the ripple effects would also be felt in the financial services sector too. TPS holders are typically low-to-moderate income households with significant roots in our economy. According to the Center for Migration Studies, TPS holders have high levels of labor force participation, low unemployment rates, and have average annual incomes of $34,918. About 30% of TPS holders are homeowners and 11% are business-owners.
Forcing TPS holders into an undocumented status will subject them to deportation and could increase the number of foreclosures in metropolitan areas. As stated in Cornell University’s report, Deporting the American Dream, there is a direct correlation between increases in deportations of undocumented immigrants and increases in foreclosures. Almost 200,000 Central American TPS holders live in California, Florida, Texas, and New York, and over a fourth (roughly 58,000) of them are estimated to be homeowners. If subjected to immigration enforcement, nearly 30,000 of them are estimated to lose their homes within a year of the designation changes. The potential loss in tax revenues and property values will further devastate local economies in Florida and Texas that are already struggling to recover from recent natural disasters.
Distribution of TPS Homeowners and Potential Foreclosures Due to Deportation
|Total TPS Pop.
|TPS Holders Who Own Homes
The loss of work authorization will further impact families and financial institutions who rely on TPS recipients. Studies show that there is a 15% difference in wages between undocumented immigrants and immigrants who obtained legal status. This sharp reduction in income will cause families to be at risk of defaulting on other lines of credit, including credit cards, personal loans and auto loans. It is also common for immigrants who are at risk of deportation to close their bank and retirement accounts as preemptive safety measures from deportation and, in many instances, as means to fund immigration legal services fees. It is highly likely that TPS holders and their families will be at risk of losing the assets they have worked hard to build, and as a result face struggles to make ends meet, as they enter the informal economy.
It is important to note that this sudden financial instability placed on TPS holders and their families will be shared by financial institutions who serve them. Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions will see significant impacts across their product suite when TPS recipients lose their work authorization. Consider that, as reported by the Center for Migration Studies, TPS recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti live in 206,000 households, of which 61,000 of these households (about 30%) have mortgages.
Local economies will also take a huge hit when the small businesses owned by TPS recipients are forced to close. Approximately 22,000 TPS holders from Central America could be forced to close their businesses when they lose work authorization. Businesses owned by TPS recipients are models of the quintessential American small business. They are important pillars in their communities, and help increase the local tax base by ensuring tax dollars stay within the community. They are also local job creators, employing an average of seven employees each.
Additionally, as many businesses owned by TPS beneficiaries are immigrant-serving ventures, the risk of losing these businesses could lead to patrons who rely on them for specialty goods spending their tax dollars in other communities.
Ending TPS negatively impacts families and communities, and goes against our fundamental values of fairness and justice. TPS recipients not only need an extension, but they also need a pathway to a more permanent status in the United States.
We are committed to working toward fair and commonsense administrative and legislative solutions that recognize the important contributions of the more than 325,000 TPSeanos who are at risk of losing these important protections.
- Why This Matters and What You Can Do
- Saving the TPSeanos In Our Communities
- DREAMers and TPSeanos Are as American as Baseball and Apple Pie
SEE RESOURCES AND WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
- Access resources for advocacy and community engagement
- Visit the #SaveTPS Campaign website and videos
By Carlos Guevara and Sabrina Terry, UnidosUS