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Trump ending protection for Hondurans was unnecessary

The cruelty of the Trump administration continues. Friday, it ...

Posted: May 5, 2018 7:53 PM
Updated: May 5, 2018 7:53 PM

The cruelty of the Trump administration continues. Friday, it announced that it was ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans. Honduran TPS holders will have until January 2020 before their protections expire, giving them 18 months to leave the country or be at risk for deportation. According to a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen "carefully considered conditions on the ground" before reaching the decision.

While not unexpected, this decision reflects the Trump administration's callous disregard for the lives of immigrants. It ignores the harsh realities that Honduran TPS holders could face if they return to their homeland. Not only will it probably increase the size of our undocumented population, but the decision will upend the lives of tens of thousands of people who are legally living, working, and raising their families in this country.

Temporary Protected Status is a classification created by Congress under the Immigration Act of 1990. It allows the secretary of Homeland Security to designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions that temporarily prevent its nationals from returning home, such as a natural disaster, ongoing armed conflict or other extraordinary circumstances.

Basically, it is an acknowledgment that a country cannot safely reabsorb its own citizens, so the US government allows them to remain here. A TPS designation can be made for six, 12 or 18 months, and is subject to periodic renewals by the Homeland Security secretary.

Honduran nationals in the United States received TPS in 1998, after Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras and left it lacking basic infrastructure, sanitation services and safe water supplies. The country is still struggling with gang violence, poverty, and a breakdown of civil order; Honduras regularly makes lists of the world's most dangerous nations.

Now, thanks to the Trump administration, nearly 90,000 TPS holders will be expected to leave the United States and return to Honduras. But conditions there have not improved. If anything, the residual problems since Hurricane Mitch have been compounded by a recent three-year drought and continued political unrest.

Sixty percent of the population in Honduras lives in poverty, and The Guardian reports that unemployment is 56%. Violent crime is rampant.

It is unconscionable that the Trump administration would choose to send people back to such grim circumstances. The administration does not seem to care that Honduran TPS holders have lived here an average of 22 years, or that they have 53,000 US-born children, according to the Center for American Progress. Sadly, this decision follows others by the administration ending TPS for more than 250,000 people from Nepal, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

Besides the humanitarian concerns, the Trump administration is overlooking other consequences of its decision to end TPS for Hondurans. Consider that many Hondurans with TPS will likely stay here and risk deportation, rather than return home and risk their lives in a devastated country.

Injecting turmoil into the lives of Hondurans here will have effects on their homeland, too. In 2017, Honduras received about $4.3 billion from family members living abroad, amounting to 19% of its GDP.

Most of this money came from the United States, so cracking down on Hondurans here could potentially hurt the country's economy. Indeed, the net result of ending TPS for Hondurans -- when taking into account the drop-off in remittances and the increase in economic uncertainty -- could well be an overall increase in illegal immigration to the United States. This means we could see more humanitarian crises like the recent migrant caravan at our southern border, which was predominantly made up of Hondurans.

As immigration restrictionists like to point out, by definition TPS is not meant to last forever. Yet it should not be ended when the countries in question are not ready or capable of absorbing more people. TPS is not about allowing just anyone into the United States; it applies only to certain foreign nationals who are already here. Nor does it give just anyone a green card or put them on a path to citizenship. It is not amnesty, because it does not permanently change anyone's immigration status. TPS simply allows people from dangerous or unstable countries to temporarily live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.

It seems pretty clear that the decision to end TPS for Hondurans was made for political reasons. No one will be safer because we expelled thousands of productive workers. Like terminating DACA and proposing a "Muslim ban," ending TPS is more about this administration's xenophobia than national security.

And what is the policy rationale for adding to the instability in Honduras? There isn't one.

Friday marked another step in the Trump administration's ongoing war against immigrants. The decision to end TPS for Hondurans is mean-spirited, shortsighted and wholly unnecessary.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 726600

Reported Deaths: 13379
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion992781737
Lake53359964
Allen40387675
St. Joseph35449550
Hamilton35440408
Elkhart28376439
Tippecanoe22336217
Vanderburgh22271396
Porter18637306
Johnson17876377
Hendricks17154314
Clark12919191
Madison12574339
Vigo12426245
Monroe11845169
LaPorte11773210
Delaware10615185
Howard9859215
Kosciusko9366117
Hancock8239140
Bartholomew8042155
Warrick7766155
Floyd7645177
Grant7019174
Wayne7018199
Boone6669101
Morgan6547139
Dubois6148117
Marshall6000111
Dearborn578577
Cass5780105
Henry5681102
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Shelby489496
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Switzerland7848
Union70710
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1080121

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1254981392
Cuyahoga1115202107
Hamilton798171200
Montgomery512711012
Summit46997933
Lucas41982782
Butler38273580
Stark32190907
Lorain24910480
Warren24249297
Mahoning21474586
Lake20586368
Clermont19727238
Delaware18496131
Licking16396210
Fairfield16144199
Trumbull15996466
Medina15233262
Greene15027244
Clark13960297
Wood13056188
Portage12806201
Allen11609231
Richland11308198
Miami10659215
Muskingum8795132
Wayne8777210
Columbiana8756229
Pickaway8547121
Marion8511135
Tuscarawas8467243
Erie7859154
Hancock6900126
Ross6835152
Ashtabula6777169
Geauga6665148
Scioto6398101
Belmont5856167
Union570047
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5511151
Huron5422119
Darke5344122
Sandusky5330120
Seneca5268121
Athens518258
Washington5148109
Auglaize488484
Mercer480185
Shelby468593
Knox4479110
Madison435461
Putnam4268100
Ashland421289
Fulton420969
Defiance418997
Crawford3965106
Brown392957
Logan381176
Preble379098
Clinton370561
Ottawa366279
Highland353861
Williams338075
Champaign330458
Guernsey315453
Jackson312051
Perry294550
Morrow283839
Fayette281449
Hardin270364
Henry268166
Coshocton264258
Holmes2590101
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Pike237433
Adams237052
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking215162
Carroll191247
Paulding172440
Meigs144639
Noble133337
Monroe131942
Morgan108323
Harrison107537
Vinton82415
Unassigned02
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We'll start Friday off dry, but the chance of rain returns. Scattered showers will be possible by late morning until the evening.
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