The Corner

Politics & Policy

BREAKING: Trump Shocks World by Insisting “Temporary” Means Temporary

The Trump administration today announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status for some 200,000 otherwise-illegal aliens from El Salvador. The beneficiaries of this “temporary” status happen to have been lucky enough to be living here illegally at the time of some earthquakes back home – in 2001. Their “temporary” status has been routinely renewed and, for all the hyperventilation about today’s move, the TPS-ers won’t lose their work authorization (which is the core issue) until September 2019.

It’s long past time for this “temporary” status to end. TPS was passed in 1990 as a way to amnesty illegal aliens who couldn’t qualify for asylum, and its temporary-ness has been a sham from day one. (I’ve been writing about this for years; see here and here.) This administration has finally been moving toward ending the charade; TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans was ended last year (albeit with long lead times), and the termination of Honduran TPS will likely be announced later this year.

Opponents of these moves seem to think that when the TPS-ers lose their work permits and revert to their prior status, they will somehow be treated differently from all the other illegals living here – i.e., that they’ll all be deported, en masse. Regarding El Salvador specifically, over the past decade we’ve been deporting about 20,000 people each year; even if that number were doubled, and the entire increase represented people who have TPS now, it would be 2030 before all were removed.

The very fact that we’re deporting anyone to El Salvador eliminates the rationale for TPS, which is supposed to be for situations when “extraordinary and temporary conditions” mean that the country is unable “to handle adequately the return” of its nationals.

The arguments offered by anti-borders groups against today’s move are more appropriately directed at Congress: The TPSers have settled in and had children here, for instance, and that El Salvador has come to depend on their remittances. If the people’s elected representatives find these arguments compelling, they can pass legislation upgrading the Salvadorans with TPS to full green card status. To demand that the executive continue a program after its statutory justification has passed is just more end-justifies-the-means thinking from the Left.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

Most Popular


White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More

Wolf Warrior II Tells Us a Lot about China

The Chinese economy is taking a big hit as a result of the trade war with the U.S: A leading export indicator has fallen several months in a row, Chinese companies postponed campus recruitment, and auto and housing sales dropped. A number of U.S. manufacturers are moving production outside of China. So ... Read More