On November 6, the Department of Homeland Security announced its decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 2,500 Nicaraguans, with a 12 month phase-out period; to defer a decision on 57,000 Hondurans with TPS, triggering an automatic extension of 6 months; and announced no decision on the future of 50,000 Haitian TPS holders, with a decision due in 16 days.
The Trump Administration’s cruel decision affecting deeply-rooted Nicaraguans in the U.S. is part of its effort to roll back TPS in order to advance its mass deportation strategy.
The Administration’s key steps reveal their intentions. First, the Trump Administration eviscerated any notion of priorities with respect to enforcement, exposing all 11 million undocumented immigrants, regardless of equities or contributions, to deportation. Second, the Administration launched a sustained attack on local jurisdictions that focus on public safety rather than aiding and abetting Trump’s deportation force. Third, the Administration revoked DACA for young immigrants, putting 800,000 young people, who average 20 years in America and 26 years of age, at risk of deportation. Now they are systematically dismantling protections for over 300,000 TPS recipients, many of whom have built families, businesses and lives in America.
This is what a mass deportation strategy looks like.
This Administration seems uninterested in keeping families together, in keeping essential workers in critical industries, or in keeping neighboring countries from become failed states. They seem to care more about getting applause from the right-wingers who want to drive out immigrants, keep out refugees, ban Muslims and slash legal immigration.
This is not who we are. We will not stand by as this Administration takes a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. We will raise our voices in hopes that a measure of sanity influences the upcoming DHS decisions on Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras. And we call on Congress to step into the breach so that those with TPS are formally recognized for being what they already are – permanent residents of the United States.
By Frank Sharry
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund.