Capitol Correspondence - 06.22.21

In Response to Direct Support Workforce Crisis, ANCOR Supports Bill Creating Pathway to Permanent Residency for Workers with TPS Status

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With our members facing a longstanding workforce shortage stemming from decades of chronic underfunding of Medicaid, ANCOR is advocating for a broad range of solutions, including some centered around immigration. Among many other factors, demand for disability supports simply exceeds the supply of U.S.-born workers. As a result, ANCOR wrote a letter in support of the SECURE Act, which would provide a pathway to permanent residency for individuals holding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) because many TPS-holders work for agencies supporting people with disabilities.

As explained in the letter: “The SECURE Act recognizes the important contributions that TPS recipients have made to U.S. society and can continue to offer after they receive permanent residency. Within the field of disability supports, TPS recipients have played an important role helping people with disabilities live full and independent lives in their communities and participating in society. The DSP field has a significant recruitment and retention crisis, with a current average national yearly turnover rate of 42.8 percent. The ensuing vacancies have repercussions for individuals supported while further exhausting remaining staff. Decades-long attempts to recruit workers born in the United States for this rewarding but emotionally and physically challenging profession have not been successful, so the stability in services provided by DSPs who are TPS recipients has been important to the well-being of people with disabilities.”