Things That Matter

As The Trump Administration Guts Temporary Protected Status For Most Groups Why Is It Being Extended For Salvadorans?

One of the big headlines gracing our screens at the moment is the revelation that the US has agreed to extend TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, for Salvadorans. This is music to a lot of people’s ears – from lawyers, to activists, and of course, to the very people this law is about: Salvadorans who have emigrated to the US. But what exactly does this mean, you ask? Well, read on to find out.

People have been saying that this is an extension of an extension.

Which is a pretty fair assessment, even if it’s only half-true. Originally, TPS was due to expire in January 2020 – a deadline that was creeping up frighteningly quickly, considering we’ve only two months of the year left. The reason why the program was set to expire this coming January in the first place? Because the Trump administration had originally decided to strip pretty much everyone of their TPS protections, and it was only after federal courts stepped in that TPS was extended to January 2020.

This original extension was the result of a decision to ensure that the US legal system had time to follow due process before TPS was completely scrapped.

However, for the roughly 200,000 Salvadorans affected by this new decision, they now have an extra year of TPS – until January 2021 – before they risk deportation. The government has been careful not to dub this extra time as an “extension,” though, clarifying that the period is intended to give Salvadorans in the US time to sort out their affairs before ending the TPS provisions.

This new date places Salvadorans on an ever-shrinking list of people protected by the TPS program.

Credit: familyseparationawareness/ Instagram

However, it wasn’t always this way. The reason why the TPS became a thing in the first place was because Congress created a standardized system for granting temporary protections to people fleeing political and/or environmental catastrophes in their home country. This coincides with the US’ ratification of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, or, The Big Important International Agreement Signed By A Bunch of Countries Saying They’ll Take In Asylum Seekers. It was decided in 1992 that Salvadorans fit the profile for TPS after things got pretty messed up in El Salvador, what with all-mighty earthquakes and general political chaos.

But the TPS program these days is getting smaller and smaller.

Credit: kiezdokumente / Instagram

Anyone originally harking from Haiti, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, or Yemen are set to see their TPS and/or DED, or Deferred Enforced Departure, expire between January and March 2020. Which, as we’ve already pointed out, is just around the corner. In fact, the only countries that have seen a reprieve, aside from El Salvador, are South Sudan and Venezuela. We’re sure we’re not the only ones thinking this: yikes.

This trouble with the TPS isn’t the first time Trump and his squad have attempted to root out and punish immigrants living in the US.

Credit: thetrumpphenomenon / Instagram

This has happened so many times before now, it’s almost hard to keep track of it all. We’ve seen Muslim bans, ICE raids, children separated from their parents, attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, overcrowded detention centers, and now this. It’s no wonder that the Trump administration has argued that natural disasters from years ago shouldn’t be used to substantiate petitions to stay in the US.

The thing is that these arguments ignore some pretty crucial reasons why these people should be allowed to stay in the US.

Credit: closethecampsdetroit / Instagram

Firstly, they’ve built a life in the US – whether it be careers, a home, family, or friends. Secondly, a lot of these places are still experiencing a lot of turmoil that would be plain traumatizing to return to. And thirdly, deporting an influx of people back to these places may actually create even more problems for those countries. They most likely won’t have the infrastructure, resources, or even economies to accept and support a huge amount of people. In fact, deportation on a mass scale may exacerbate the very issues that are driving people to cross the border into the US in the first place – and likely just continue a vicious cycle. 

Getting back to the original topic: while this non-extension gives a reprieve to those who clearly need it, moving the deadline just means that the end of the TPS program has become the problem for the America of the future to face. And though we don’t necessarily condone procrastination, there is something to be said about the fact that this new TPS expiry date falls after the 2020 Presidential elections. And who knows what the US President of 2021 will think of the TPS system?

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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Congresswoman Norma Torres Is In A Twitter Feud With El Salvador’s President And Neither One Is Backing Down

Things That Matter

Congresswoman Norma Torres Is In A Twitter Feud With El Salvador’s President And Neither One Is Backing Down

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) has been one of the most outspoken critics on the root causes of migration to the United States, calling out corruption and neglect from Central American nations.

The Guatemala-born Congresswoman said the issue stemmed from failing to address the root causes of immigration in the Northern Triangle. While she claimed that the Obama administration made strides in Central American intervention (years later, it has little to show for), she did address the many reasons why people from the region made the difficult decision to leave their countries. 

“The poverty we see here in our own communities, you know, in comparison to the poverty that has been caused by climate change issues, severe droughts in the region, the fact that there is no infrastructure for the indigenous populations,” Torres told NPR in 2019

She continues to lay blame on those same nations and she’s making some apparent enemies in the process, including El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele who has been engaged in a bit of a Twitter feud with the congresswoman.

The California congresswoman is feeling the heat from El Salvador’s president.

President Nayib Bukele and Democratic Rep. Norma Torres have been exchanging very undiplomatic barbs on Twitter for the last few weeks. And now, El Salvador’s president is urging voters in a California congressional district to vote out its U.S. representative in the latest back-and-forth spat between the Central American head of state and one of Congress’ most vocal critics of the region’s leaders.

Torres, who was born in Guatemala, took the first show when she retweeted a disturbing video released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection showing two toddler sisters being dropped into the U.S. by smugglers straddling a 14-foot-tall border wall. The two were picked up by U.S. agents and given medical attention.

Along with a link to the video, Torres tweeted — in Spanish — that the incident is “a great shame for the governments of #Guatemala #Honduras #ElSalvador their compatriots deserve governments that are truly committed to fighting corruption and narco[trafficking]!”

Well, her tweet didn’t sit well with the president.

El Salvador’s Bukele, an avid Twitter user, hit back fast with his own Spanish-language tweet. “Look ma’am, did you read that the children are from ECUADOR and not from EL SALVADOR? Also, this happened on the border of Mexico with the United States. What does El Salvador have to do with this?”

The Salvadoran president then told Torres that she should buy some glasses with a portion of her “financier’s checks.”

But Bukele, at 39 the youngest president in Latin America, is extremely popular. He is often seen wearing a backward baseball cap and sports clothes, and his Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas) party won big in last month’s legislative elections, taking control of the national legislature.

Torres, one of Bukele’s leading critics, kept up the tweet for tweet — this time in English — calling the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border the result of “narcissistic dictators like you interested in being ‘cool’ while people flee by the 1000s & die by the 100s.”

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