It is unfortunate, but I continue to be contacted by people from different parts of the country who are having problems after going through the renewal process for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
As I have been reporting, the Department of Motor Vehicles has denied driver's licenses to Salvadorans and Hondurans with TPS around the United States.
So far I have received complaints from California, Utah, Indiana and South Carolina.
In some cases, employers have incorrectly fired people with TPS because their work documents show an expiration date that indicates that it has already expired. But the reality is that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the validity of these documents for 6 more months for people who have renewed their TPS.
In the case of Hondurans and Nicaraguans with TPS, their work permits, which show an expiration date of January 5, 2015, are valid until July 5 of this year.
For Salvadorans with TPS, their documents with an expiration date of March 9 remain valid until September 9, 2015.
After multiple visits to the Los Angeles DMV and submitting a formal letter to DMV's top management denouncing discrimination in cases of drivers with TPS, I was able to get Mr. Edenilson Flores' license renewed. They gave him a temporary license while they send him the definitive one.
This process should not be so complicated. Worst of all, it is negatively affecting thousands of people with TPS who are legally entitled to live and work in the United States.
You can watch interviews on Telemundo's "Un Nuevo Dia" and "The Rundown" with MSNBC's Jose Diaz Balart where I explain the problem:
If you or someone you know is having trouble renewing their driver's license with the DMV, they must have a copy of the Federal Register Notice, a copy of their TPS renewal application and receipts from USCIS. In addition, their work permit with an expiration date of January 5 (for Hondurans and Nicaraguans) or March 9, 2015 (for Salvadorans).
Copies of the Federal Register notices can be found by clicking on the links below:
If employers or government offices refuse to see your documents, or say that they are not valid, contact the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, 1-800-255-7688 and your country's consulate.
In addition, I recommend that they submit a Complaint Form with the OSC.
Also, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your information, so that I can collect and monitor cases.
People with TPS have rights and should not be afraid to report acts of discrimination. If they do not do so, employers and government offices will continue to discriminate against them.