President Donald Trump is so obsessed with deporting immigrants that he is literally stripping protections that give hundreds of thousands of them legal status here. On the list are 57,000 Hondurans who have lived here for 20 years.
Since 1998, 57,000 Hondurans lived in the United States under Temporary Protected Status due to a hurricane that ravaged Honduras and forced thousands to flee. They came here and have had legal status under the law, and past presidents have extended the protection over the years because of continued violence and political instability in the Central American nation.
Two decades is a long time. In fact, it’s more than long enough to settle down and establish roots within a community, have children and grandchildren, have a career, build friendships, and make a difference in people’s lives.
But Trump and his Department of Homeland Security is now ripping those roots up from the ground as they continue to wage a hostile war against immigrants from what Trump refers to as “sh*thole countries.”
On Friday, the Trump administration issued a statement announcing the end of Temporary Protected Status for Hondurans.
The statement said:
“The Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial.”
It also completely ignored that part of the law that instructs administrations to:
“…[Weigh] extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety.”
Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the world and has a high murder rate. There is also considerable civil unrest. That’s why many Hondurans are still fleeing from their homeland.
We should also point out that even Honduras is pleading with the Trump administration to keep the protections in place. After all, these 57,000 people have lived most of their lives in the United States and have built ties to their communities. Their lives are here, not in Honduras. And because many of them came here when they were children, they are far better off here than they would be in Honduras, a place they would be totally unfamiliar with now.
Temporary Protected Status only applies to the 57,000 Hondurans who chose to remain here. No more Hondurans can benefit from the program. And it’s hard to enter the program.
According to Vox:
To enter the program, nationals of a designated country must clear a number of conditions: They must maintain a relatively clean criminal record and pass a background check, they must pay a $495 processing fee when they first apply for the program and every time their status is renewed, and they must reside in the United States at the time of their country’s designation.
Again, the Temporary Protected Status program gives these immigrants legal status to reside and work in the United States. And it’s not just protecting 57,000 Hondurans. It protects around 400,000 people came here seeking asylum from countries devastated by war and natural disasters.
Trump is ending protections for most of them as well, which means 390,000 people will be displaced once again by 2020 and will basically become undocumented immigrants once they lose their protections, which means Trump will be wasting taxpayer dollars and resources deporting people who are law-abiding members of society.
And many of those innocent people would be getting sent to their deaths.
But it will also have a negative impact on the economy as these immigrants with protected status provide billions of dollars to Social Security and Medicare. GDP would also take a major hit, including in states that voted for Trump such as Texas. Furthermore, deporting all of these people would cost taxpayers billions. So, it’s a lose-lose situation that benefits no one as Trump uses it to pander to his racist supporters.
It’s a tragedy that underscores Trump’s disregard for America’s humanitarian values.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot.