‘We are not being complacent’: Liberals don’t expect sudden surge of Salvadoran asylum-seekers

We shall see how well the regularization process works and consequent impact on the numbers of asylum seekers:

The Liberal government has a contingency plan for a potential flood of Salvadoran asylum seekers, but it is not expecting a sudden surge of people crossing the border from the United States.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the government has been “engaging intensely” with the El Salvador diaspora, among others, and believes they are deeply embedded in their American communities with children, jobs and mortgages and not likely to abruptly flee.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced Monday that 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants now allowed to live and work in the U.S. with temporary protected status will lose their right to remain in the country in September 2019.

Hussen said because there’s a lengthy 18-month time frame for people to leave or seek legal residency, he expects many will use the time to regularize their status.

“Their first choice is to remain in the U.S.,” Hussen told reporters on Parliament Hill after meeting with a joint intergovernmental task force on irregular migration.

“Having said that, we are not being complacent. We are making sure we are prepared for any eventuality, including a future influx of asylum seekers crossing our border irregularly and, in that regard, we are using the lessons that we learned in the summer to do so.”

Since August last year, the government has embarked on an outreach campaign to spread the word about Canadian laws and immigration system. MPs have been dispatched to meet with various community groups and stakeholders in Miami, New York, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles and used social media and online marketing tools to correct misinformation.

Humanitarian message

“Our message is not only a deterrent message but it’s also a humanitarian message, because we don’t want people uprooting their lives, their deep roots in the United States, based on misinformation,” he said.

Haitians began crossing in to Canada even before a final decision had been made on their temporary status, with more than 200 people a day in the summer months.

Hussen noted that irregular crossings have declined dramatically in the last four months, and said fluctuations in numbers are seen from year to year, and from month to month.

The U.S. granted protected status to people from El Salvador in the wake of two devastating 2001 earthquakes that left hundreds of thousands in the country homeless.

Source: ‘We are not being complacent’: Liberals don’t expect sudden surge of Salvadoran asylum-seekers

And a good overview by CNN of the 10 countries currently with TPS

TPS is ending for these countries

Sudan

Status:Ends November 2, 2018, DHS announced in September 2017. This means Sudanese under TPS will have to find a different way to stay in the US or prepare to leave.
When TPS was designated: November1997
Number of people with TPS: About 1,000
Cause: Sudan was designated for TPS based on the “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.” Sudan has been beset by conflicts, most notably the Darfur conflict, which began around 2003 when several rebel groups took up arms against the government in Khartoum. The situation in Sudan has improved in recent years, but concerns persist about its stability and human rights.
Why TPS was terminated: DHS’ then-Acting Secretary Elaine Duke had”determined that conditions in Sudan no longer support its designation for Temporary Protected Status.” The agency said nationals of Sudan could return “without posing a serious threat to their personal safety.”

Nicaragua

Status:Ends January 5, 2019, DHS announced in November 2017.
When TPS was designated: January 1999
Number of people with TPS: About 5,300
Cause:Hurricane Mitch, a Category 5 storm, devastated the country in October 1998. Mitch was particularly destructive in Nicaragua and Honduras, killing about 11,000 people in Central America.
Why TPS was terminated: “It is no longer the case that Nicaragua is unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of nationals of Nicaragua,” according to DHS. The agency stated that conditions affected by Hurricane Mitch have stabilized and that many of the homes destroyed by the storm have been rebuilt.

Haiti

Status:Ends July 22, 2019, DHS announced in November 2017.
When TPS was designated: January 2010
Number of people with TPS: About 58,700
Cause: A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck in January 2010, and an estimated 220,000 to 300,000 people died. That year, DHS announced temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who were already in the US and “whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti.”
Why TPS was terminated: After seven years, the DHS stated that “extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”

El Salvador

Status:Ends September 9, 2019, DHS announced in January 2018.
When TPS was designated: March 2001
Number of people with TPS: About 263,000
Cause: A 7.7-magnitude quake struck El Salvador in January 2001 and was the worst to hit the country in a decade. The devastation, along with two more damaging quakes the following month, spurred a decision allowing immigrants from El Salvador who’d been in the United States since mid-February 2001 to apply for TPS.
Why TPS was terminated: After nearly 17 years, the “original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist,” DHS said. It added that the US government has repatriated more than 39,000 Salvadorans in the last two years, “demonstrating that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed.”

Decisions pending in 2018

Syria

Status:Extended through March 31, 2018, DHS announced in August 2016.
When TPS was designated: March 2012
Number of people with TPS: About 6,200
Cause: Syria was designated for TPS because of the ongoing armed conflict. Since the civil war began in 2011, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations. The Syrian conflict broke out in 2011 with the Arab Spring uprising and rebel groups’ attempts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Why it was extended: An 18-month extension was given by the DHS in 2016,because “violent conflict and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis continue to pose significant risk throughout Syria.”

Nepal

Status:Extended through June 24, 2018, DHS announced in October 2016.
When TPS was designated: June 2015
Number of people with TPS: About 13,000
Cause: TPS has protected Nepalese living in the United States since a destructive, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck near the country’s capital, Kathmandu. The April 2015 earthquake killed more than 8,000 people, and millions of homes cracked or collapsed.
Why it was extended: Conditions in Nepal have improved following the earthquake, DHS said in its 2016 decision to extend TPS for 18 more months. But the disaster resulted “in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions,” the agency stated.

Honduras

Status:Extended through July 5, 2018, DHS announced in November 2017.
When TPS was designated: January 1999
Number of people with TPS: About 86,200
Cause:Hurricane Mitch, a Category 5 storm, devastated the country in October 1998. Mitch was particularly destructive in Nicaragua and Honduras, killing about 11,000 people in Central America.
Why it was extended: DHS postponed its decision, triggering an automatic six-month extension. Its then-acting secretary Elaine Duke had announced there was not enough information to make a formal decision.

Yemen

Status:Extended through September 3, 2018, DHS announced in January 2017.
When TPS was designated: September 2015
Number of people with TPS: About 800
Cause: A civil war broke out when Houthi rebels drove out the US-backed government, led by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, and took over the capital, Sanaa. The crisis quickly escalated into a multi-sided war leading to airstrikes in 2015. At least 10,000 people have been killedin the war, according to the United Nations, with millions more displaced.
Why it was extended: DHS granted an 18-month extension in 2017, because of the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen. It cited “continued deterioration of the conditions for civilians in Yemen” and said returning Yemeni nationals to the country would “pose a serious threat to their personal safety.”

Somalia

Status:Extended through September 17, 2018, DHS announced in January 2017
When TPS was designated: September 1991
Number of people with TPS: About 500
Cause: Somalia was designated for TPS after the country descended into civil war after dictator Siad Barre’s ouster in 1991. Nearing three decades of conflict, much of the country’s governance structure, economic infrastructure, and institutions have been destroyed.
Why it was extended: “The security situation in Somalia remains fragile and volatile,” according to DHS. The agency said Somalis couldn’t safely return to the country. “Somalia continues to experience a complex protracted emergency that is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,” it stated in 2017.

Decision pending in 2019

South Sudan

Status:Extended through May 2, 2019,DHS announced in September 2017.
When TPS was designated: November2011
Number of people with TPS: About 50
Cause: South Sudan had been designated for TPS based on “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.” The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but remains torn by conflict.
Why it was extended: The ongoing armed conflict and the conditions have “persisted, and in some cases, deteriorated, and would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of South Sudanese nationals if they were required to return to their country,” according to DHS.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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