What don’t you understand about the word Temporary? Temporary Protected Status is an immigration protection that has been extended to folks from various countries over the years. The reason is typically unsafe conditions in the individuals home country resulting from a natural disaster or civil unrest. Recently protection was extended to folks from Syria, because of the ongoing conflict, and Haiti as a result of the 2010 earthquake. El Salvadorans were granted TPS in 2001 and Hondurans 1998 due to natural disasters in their home country. These folks have now resided legally in the United States for two decades or more.
Most of those opposed to ongoing TPS emphasize the word temporary. “The people who accepted our offer of TPS did so with the full understanding that the benefit was a temporary one and that, at some point, they would be required to leave.” Says Ira Mehlman, media director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). (The Hill, 10/26/2017) He goes on to say that return to their home countries might be “inconvenient.” This lack of empathy and even understanding of our basic values and the underlying principles of fairness is unfortunately emblematic of our current social and political climate.
Putting aside the simple humanitarian disaster that results from ripping people from what is now, for all practical purposes, their home country not to mention separating them from their United States citizen children there are real legal principals at hand. First is the notion of a waiver of remedy or rights. At some point in the TPS process, one that requires a renewal by Congress every eighteen (18) months, the United States government waived their right to suddenly enforce the notion that this relief or benefit was temporary. Second, Western jurisprudence also allows for a statute of limitations on virtually all law enforcement actions. The only criminal acts that are an exception to this legal principle are murder and related charges. Is living in the United States as a non-citizen the equivalent of murder? Keep in mind that TPS is terminated for the commission of relatively minor crimes accordingly TPS is not a shield for wrongdoers.
The termination of TPS is another example of how the values and aspirations of the American experiment are being degraded by our current administration.