The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Let Them Stay’

Our former intern Christian Alejandro Gonzalez has a piece at The Weekly Standard on the Trump administration’s decision to revoke Temporary Protected Status from hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals from Central America and the Caribbean who are currently living in the United States. The result will be that all become subject to deportation.

There is an entirely legitimate debate to be had about whether TPS, as currently constituted, is desirable. Perhaps the program should even “be phased out as the people who benefitted from it are allowed to legally remain in the United States” (I am quoting Christian). But I share Christian’s opposition to shattering the lives of people we have allowed to become members of our community, in many cases over a period of decades, even if there are compelling reasons to take a more restrictionist approach going forward. More, I think the indifference of the Trump administration to the human cost of its policies discredits the cause of immigration restriction morally and will ultimately undermine it politically.

Further from the article:

More than half of the TPS recipients from El Salvador and Honduras have lived in America for more than 20 years, per research from the Center for Migration Studies. The same study determined that TPS beneficiaries from those two countries plus Haiti have had around 273,000 children who are, naturally, American citizens by virtue of their birthplace. They all stand to see their families ripped asunder. A simple “Revoke TPS, deport those who remain” proposal fails to grapple with the fact that these are people who have settled down, birthed American children, and raised families. . . .

When the Trump White House and some of its hardline restrictionist allies speak about immigration, it occasionally becomes clear — to borrow from George Orwell — that for some people “deportation” is at most a word. The president’s TPS decision is likely to have unintended consequences for American foreign policy, and will also decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of human beings — human beings who have come to call America home, to the benefit of themselves and the society around them. The government’s actions on TPS must reflect these realities.

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