If you are unfamiliar with temporary protected status (TPS), you’d think President Trump just stole from over 200,000 Salvadorans a legal and constitutional right to be in this country. This assumption, widely disseminated by the media, cannot be farther from the truth. In fact, Trump is restoring the letter and spirit of the law and returning sovereignty to American citizens that was stolen by illegal immigrants and past presidents.
TPS is not a program designed to grant amnesty to those here illegally. Nor is it a mass refugee or migration program to actively bring in people from countries experiencing natural disasters or other social, economic, and security problems. It was intended only for a small number of people who were temporarily in this country legally— on vacation or visiting a relative, for example — right at the time a natural disaster struck in their home country, preventing them from returning home.
Passed by Congress in 1990, TPS was intended for a small number of people who are already here legally but aren’t eligible to remain under the standards of asylum (which have since been abused as well). It was also designed to be be temporary, for 6 to 18 months, and under “extraordinary” conditions, at the discretion of the DHS secretary.
With this simple background in mind, you can now see through the lies of the media regarding Trump’s decision to end the TPS for El Salvador. The Bush administration designated El Salvador as eligible for TPS following the 2001 earthquakes. Right off the bat, your BS meter should be jolted by the fact that there are at least 200,000 Salvadorans who were given TPS. Are we really supposed to believe that there happened to be 200K Salvadorans vacationing in Disneyland right at the time when the earthquake hit? This report shows the total number of individuals granted TPS over the life of the program at over 430,000 — of which more than half are the more than 200,000 from El Salvador alone. What is clearly indicated by the large numbers is that the overwhelming majority of these people were already here illegally and violating our sovereignty, yet they just took advantage of TPS because of their “lucky” timing in 2001.
Thus, not only have these individuals long overstayed their temporary status due to the effects of the earthquake, they were never eligible for it in the first place. They are demanding to stay precisely because they wanted to migrate here, not because of the earthquake.
Sadly, the past two presidents simply extended the status without any understanding of who these people are, why they are here, why they are not returning, and their effects on our safety and social programs. Remember, El Salvador is the home of MS-13, and we are currently experiencing a crisis of gang violence, particularly from illegals originating from El Salvador. Nearly 30 percent of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from Central America have ties to MS-13. One can only wonder how many of these UACs were smuggled in by parents living here under false pretenses of TPS.
The blanket designation of TPS has harmed our security. As CIS’s Jessica Vaughn observes:
Other gang members have been able to avoid removal because they qualify for the blanket temporary protected status (TPS).TPS applicants are not required to meet the “good moral character” standard required for most forms of relief. In one particularly striking case, a judge in Massachusetts blocked ICE efforts to remove a Salvadoran MS-13 member who had been convicted of relatively minor crimes, noting that because of his nationality and date of illegal arrival, the offender was eligible for TPS, even though he had not applied for it. ICE did get a second chance, as the gangster later participated in one of the most horrifying crimes in the Boston area at the time, the gang rape of two deaf girls in a public park, one of whom had cerebral palsy and was in a wheelchair.
Therefore, it is President Trump, by ending this designation, who is following the law and putting Americans first. The other presidents willingly disregarded first the fact that these people are illegal aliens; second, the fact that the program was supposed to serve as temporary harbor, not a mass migration scheme; and third, the economic and safety concerns to Americans. According to law (INA §244 (b)(1)), TPS may not be designated if the DHS secretary finds that allowing migrants to temporarily stay in the United States is against the national interest or for individuals with criminal convictions. Yet past administrations categorically extended this program without any regard for the effects on Americans.
Our immigration laws, for the most part, were written with America’s best interests in mind. It is past administrations that have abused every temporary, conditional, and low-scale program to remold them in the form of mass migration or widespread amnesty programs. Trump is restoring the rule of law.
Proponents of the amnesty agenda are decrying the fact that these people might actually be deported. What they don’t tell you is that they are no different from any other illegal immigrant from Central America who may or may not be deported, but most certainly is not legally entitled to affirmative legal status. There is no argument to be made that they deserve amnesty more than any other illegal who didn’t scam the TPS system.
Those wringing their hands over the TPS population claim that they have already laid down roots and have several hundred thousand “American” children. This only further proves how they were fleecing Americans and stealing the sovereignty of our citizenship. By definition, those here on temporary visas cannot be said to be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, as required by the Fourteenth Amendment in order to obtain birthright citizenship. Temporary is temporary. Thus, either way, their argument is counterintuitive, because if they are legitimate TPS holders, then their children should not be regarded as Americans, and if they are treating themselves as legal permanent residents, then it’s an admission that this was about elective migration, not temporary harbor from a natural disaster.
Amnesty proponents then claim that these are the most gifted and productive people in the world. First, it should be noted that if this were true, don’t we owe it to El Salvador, in its efforts to rebuild the country, to give back their best and brightest?
Moreover, the reality is that Central American migrants, on average, are among the poorest immigrants. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 70 percent of the 1.3 million Salvadorans (most of whom are here illegally) in this country speak English “less than very well.” Further, 53 percent have not graduated high school, 61 percent live below poverty, and 57 percent of Salvadoran households use at least one major welfare program.
In any immigration debate, Americans are always put last, even if facts have to be distorted and laws have to be erased. The president should be applauded for getting the laws and the facts straight.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.