Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TPS and Trump

Next month there will be 60,000 Hondurans in the United States who will face eventual deportation unless the Trump administration extends Temporary Protected Status for them. This extends back to Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and TPS has been extended 13 times. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez is lobbying on their behalf.

Honduras is not prepared to take people back, both officials and citizens say — and the lack of opportunity there might even prompt some to return to the U.S. illegally. Honduras’ economy is dominated by agriculture, and Honduran Minister of Agriculture Jacobo Paz said that despite government programs to improve agricultural practices, providing training to thousands of returning Hondurans will overtax the country’s abilities.

Does Donald Trump care? He extended TPS for Haitians, but John Kelly said that countries needed to start thinking about their citizens coming back. As far as I can tell, Honduras is just the second case in this hemisphere. El Salvador will come early in 2018. Clearly Trump's base wants immigrants gone but I have not heard him say anything about it.

TPS is a weird thing because clearly more than a decade is not "temporary" but Congress won't provide any more permanent path. Therefore it becomes a limbo, a permanent impermanence. Yet sending people back will likely be counterproductive. Honduras already is poor, underdeveloped, and plagued by organized crime. If you force tens of thousands back into it without any prospects, you're asking for trouble, and trouble in Central America always makes its way to the United States.


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