In a strongly worded editorial, the Des Moines Register urged Congress to act on immigration reform now:
“This fear forces our neighbors into the shadows. They are afraid to call the police when victimized by crime. They’re afraid someone will alert immigration authorities if they seek medical care, apply for college admission, complain about a landlord or take a child to the dentist.
“Perhaps because these immigrants cannot vote, Congress doesn’t consider them a priority. So it is up to those of us who can vote to pressure our lawmakers to show some courage and compassion. We must insist on it. Call and email them every week until they act.
“Because Congress cannot continue to ignore this humanitarian crisis in our back yard.”
The Trump administration set an end date for Nicaraguan Temporary Protected Status on Monday, but said it would take more time to decide on the fate of Hondurans with TPS. Somebody in the administration – “a senior official” – is signaling willingness to support a path to permanent residency. That posture, however, is the kind that is easily and frequently reversed.
In fact, another “senior official” said it’s likely that the final verdict on Hondurans will be an end to their TPS.
The bottom line: no one outside the Trump administration knows for certain what its policy direction is. And quite possibly, no one inside the administration knows for certain either.
Trump administration ending protections for thousands of Nicaraguan migrants, defers decision on Hondurans (Los Angeles Times, 11/6/17)
“The Trump administration said Monday it will end a special program that for years has protected more than 5,000 Nicaraguans against deportation, but stopped short of ending similar protections for immigrants from Hondurans or other countries….
“Not only did the administration defer a decision on the status of some 86,000 Honduran immigrants, but officials from the Department of Homeland Security said the administration would support action by Congress to find a permanent solution that could allow them and other protected migrants to stay.”
“The Hondurans get six more months of protection (assuming they reregister with US Citizenship and Immigration Services) while the Trump administration makes up its mind. But a senior administration official warned Monday that “given the information available to” Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, “it is possible that the TPS designation for Honduras may be terminated with an appropriate delay at the end of the 6-month period.”
“Indeed, the State Department recommended Friday that it push both Honduras and Nicaragua out of the program — along with El Salvador and Haiti.
“The four countries together account for about 300,000 people living legally in the US — many of them for decades. The administration will make decisions about their fates over the next few months. And it’s expected to tell all of these people that they’re no longer welcome.”
“Omar Salinas arrived as a teenager from El Salvador as a TPS recipient. He attended high school in Long Island and is now employed as a maintenance worker. Now 36, Omar is a homeowner with a wife and three children under the age of 13. He worries about the shift in the political climate and what that means for his wife and three daughters.
“When my boss met me ,he thought that I was a citizen or a legal permanent resident, when I explained that I had TPS, he didn’t understand how I had been in the country for so many years and with children without a pathway to be permanent residence,” Omar told Latino USA. “My boss voted for Donald Trump. He doesn’t think the president will send us back. He says to me. ‘How can they tell you from one day to the next that it is over?’”
Some Vietnamese immigrants at risk, too?
“Nonprofits across the U.S. issued a joint alert last week stating that members of the Vietnamese-American community with final orders of removal from immigration authorities may be at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation.“The announcement came after groups said they discovered through a court filing that the U.S. had presented 95 cases to Vietnam for processing for removal in September.”
And in St. Cloud:
St. Cloud rejects resolution calling for moratorium on immigration (Star Tribune, 11/7/17) St.Cloud city council member Jeff Johnson brought his anti-refugee resolution to the council on Monday night and, as expected, was soundly defeated in a 6-1 vote. The vote came two weeks after the council approved a resolution saying that St. Cloud welcomes refugees and immigrants.
“The City Hall meeting drew more than 300 residents, some carrying American flags while others held signs that read “All Are Welcome” — reflecting the growing and often tense debate in this city of 67,000 residents over the resettlement issue.”