Immigrants worry as temporary protected status ends

Julissa Rangel

Alice Curran
Other than women’s rights, the Women’s March in Downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 20 advocated for many groups such as immigrants, people of color and the LGBT community.

On Jan. 8, Kirstjen Nielsen the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security announced that since repairs and improvements have been made to roads, hospitals and schools in El Salvador, an entire generation of  Salvadorans have about a year to go back to a country many of them are not at all familiar with anymore.

Under the 1990 Bush administration Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was granted to Salvadoran immigrants after a disastrous earthquake in 2001, which left around 1,000 people dead and $2.8 billion in damages. TPS allows immigrants to reside, work and travel legally in the United States until their country of origin is safe to return to or once they’re able to obtain a visa or citizenship.

The forced displacement of Salvadoran adults would cause them to  bring their U.S. born children back to a country now stricken with poverty and and astonishingly high rates of gang violence. The United States encourages its own citizens to not visit El Salvador because it’s become one of the most dangerous places to either travel to or live in. In 2016, the Los Angeles Times even published an article announcing that its capital, San Salvador, was the murder capital of the world. This completely debunks Nielsen’s claim that El Salvador is now safe to return to.

There truly isn’t justification for TPS to not be renewed. Forcing hundreds of thousands of people who left an overpopulated, damaged, poverty-stricken country for the sole purpose of being able to provide for themselves and their families is not only irrational but a prime example of ethnic cleansing. The termination of TPS will have devastating effects on families and the economies of both the United States and El Salvador. Thousands of these children have no clue what El Salvador is like, there are plenty who don’t speak the language and have never visited. They’ll either have to face hiding from immigration until they obtain proper documentation, return to their country with their Americanized children or leave their children until they are of legal age and can sponsor visas for their parents.  

If Trump’s idea of “Making America Great Again” entails deporting all immigrants from “shithole countries” he has to consider the history of this country itself. What he is preaching is not improving the country, it’s stripping it of the people who subsidize its economy for little profit and are humble about it.

What Trump is preaching is white supremacy. Deprivation of immigrant rights is oppression. This is blatant racism toward a group of people who’ve done nothing but make it easier for people like him to live privileged, carefree lifestyles. I understand the government isn’t capable of comprehending this, but I don’t think they realize how serious of a toll this will take on the American economy, these people and their families.