Fascist Regime Announces Plans to End Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans—These Attacks Must Be Stopped!

January 8, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On January 8, the Trump/Pence regime announced that it is ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador. If this decision stands, over 260,000 people will have until September 9, 2019, to leave the U.S. or find some way to get a green card, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump’s TPS decision will rip through the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and turn them upside down. There are about 200,000 children born in this country—and thus U.S. citizens—with Salvadoran parents who have TPS status. If TPS ends for them, these families will all be torn apart, one way or the other. A spokesman for Trump’s Department of Homeland Security responded with heartless indifference to the fate of these children and families: “We’re not getting involved in individual family decisions.”

What are those “family decisions”?  A woman in Los Angeles who has two children born in the U.S. told a reporter, “We had hope that if we worked hard, paid our taxes and didn’t get in trouble we would be allowed to stay.” She said she would risk arrest and deportation rather than return to El Salvador, and even though she will lose her job of 12 years without the work permit that comes with TPS, and without the medical insurance for herself and her daughters.

A 37-year-old man in Houston who has worked for over a decade in information technology said, “All my dreams and hopes ended today. My life and the life of my family will end." A 14-year-old girl in Southern California whose entire life has been in this country but whose mother now faces deportation said, “This is where I was born and am supposed to be raised.”

Making America White (and English Speaking)

TPS temporarily protects people from deportation, and enables them to obtain work permits. It is based on a determination that they are unable to return safely to their homelands because of natural disasters or armed conflicts. The Congressional Research Service describes TPS as providing a “safe haven for migrants who may not meet the legal definition of refugee or asylee but are nonetheless fleeing—or reluctant to return to—potentially dangerous situations.”

More Salvadorans have TPS than any other nationality. All these people arrived in the U.S. no later than February 13, 2001. They had fled a country torn by a civil war in which the U.S. supported and trained death squads and a military that killed about 75,000 people in the small country, and displaced one fifth of the population. Then, in 2001, two massive earthquakes left much of the already impoverished country in ruins.

Denial of TPS for Salvadorans follows the cancellation of TPS for 60,000 Haitians in November, with Honduran TPS holders possibly targeted next. This is the latest volley in Trump’s barrage of fascist, white supremacist attacks on immigrants intended to drive millions of people—mostly people who are not white, many of whom speak English as their second language—from this country.

Burning Down the House—Then Throwing the Victims Back in It

A Homeland Security statement said the decision to end TPS for Salvadorans was “[b]ased on careful consideration of available information.” Kirstjen Nielsen, its director, “determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist.” The government’s evidence and justification for its decision that El Salvador is safe to return to? The 39,000 people the U.S. deported there over the past two years, which it claims demonstrate “that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed.”

This is like setting a house on fire, shooting down some of the people who manage to escape, and gathering up others to throw them back in the burning building. For decades, El Salvador has been tormented by U.S. domination. Millions of people live in a hell of hunger, poverty, and death that has “Made in the U.S.A.” stamped all over it.

Shortly after the war in El Salvador ended, the U.S. began massive deportation of youths from Los Angeles to the country, many of whom were in gangs. The U.S. exported gang violence of desperate youths into the country’s war-scarred landscape. Now it is one of the most violent places on earth, and San Salvador, its capital, one of the most dangerous cities. El Salvador has the highest homicide rate for youth in the world. A quarter of its children live in extreme poverty. Jobs for anyone are scarce, and 40% of the country lives in what the World Bank describes as poverty. Money sent from the U.S. accounts for 17% of the economy.

Up to Us to Stop This

The endless attacks on immigrants, the enormous cruelty of a fascist regime that mocks and torments, arrests and deports, threatens and imprisons so many immigrants—all this must end. This fascist regime is carrying out all these Nazi like atrocities now, laying the groundwork for even more monstrous attacks, and the fight to stop this is urgent. It is a key element of their effort to consolidate fascism, and it must be a key element of the outlook and activity of millions of people to stop that from happening.





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