Ninth Circuit ruling could allow Trump to deport 400,000 immigrants next year

Of note. Potential significant impact on Canadian refugee claimants should decision not be successfully appealed and Trump re-elected, as we saw in 2017:

A federal appeals court has upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to take away legal protections for 400,000 immigrants, who could be deported next year if he wins reelection — despite having put down roots in the US over years or even decades.

Citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan have been able to stay in the US through Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a protection typically offered to citizens of countries experiencing natural disasters or armed conflict that allows them to legally live and work in the US. Against the advice of senior State Department officials, Trump tried to end TPS for those countries starting in November 2017, arguing that conditions have improved enough that their citizens can now safely return.

A federal court decision had prevented Trump from proceeding to roll back those protections temporarily. But on Monday, a divided panel of judges at the Ninth Circuit lifted the lower court’s block, meaning that the administration could terminate TPS status for all countries but El Salvador on March 5, 2021 (Salvadorans would lose their status on November 5, 2021). After those dates, TPS recipients’ work permits will expire and they will lose their legal status, making them eligible for deportation.

Those affected could include roughly 130,000 essential workers, more than 10,000 of whom are in medical professions, and roughly 279,000 US-citizen children under age 18 who are living with TPS recipients and could be separated from their families if their relatives were deported.

Wilna Destin, a TPS recipient from Haiti who has lived in Florida for two decades and recently contracted Covid-19, said in a press call that the Ninth Circuit ruling represented just one in a series of challenges she has recently had to face.

“We have coronavirus, we have hurricane, and now this. For me, it’s another disaster,” she said.

The presidential election could decide what becomes of TPS holders

The fate of TPS holders hinges on the outcome of the presidential election this fall.

If former Vice President Joe Biden is elected, he has vowed to prevent TPS recipients from being sent back to countries that are unsafe and would pursue legislation providing a path to citizenship to those who have lived in the US for an “extended period of time and built lives in the US.” He would also try to expand TPS protections to Venezuelans fleeing their country’s present socioeconomic and political crisis.

If Trump wins, his administration could also decide not to move forward with ending TPS protections at any time. But what’s more likely is that Congress will face pressure to pass legislation offering permanent protections to TPS holders who have put down roots in the US, shielding them from deportation.

The Dream and Promise Act, which passed the House last year, would have made TPS holders who have lived in the US for three or more years eligible to apply for a green card and, eventually, US citizenship. It could serve as a template for further negotiations, though whether it will get any traction depends on the makeup of the next Congress.

In a second term, Trump could also move forward with his plan to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed more than 700,000 young immigrants who came to the US as children to live and work in the US legally. (The Supreme Court has temporarily prevented him from doing so, but his administration is laying the groundwork for him to try again and has refused to fully reinstate the program.)

“Temporary Protected Status is on the ballot in November,” Frank Sharry, the executive director of the immigrant advocacy group America’s Voice, said in a statement. “And if we do not remove Trump … we could see one of the largest mass deportations and family separation crises in American history.”

The Ninth Circuit ruled that no court has the authority to review the administration’s decision to terminate TPS, which it said is a matter of agency discretion. It also dismissed the ACLU’s argument that Trump’s decision to terminate TPS was motivated by racial animus toward nonwhite, non-European immigrants in violation of the Constitution’s guarantee that everyone receive equal protection under the law, regardless of race or national origin.

The ACLU’s Ahilan Arulanantham, who represented TPS holders at the Ninth Circuit, said in a press call that the organization will ask the full appeals court to review the case and, failing that, would seek review at the Supreme Court, potentially setting up another high-profile case challenging Trump’s immigration policy.

In the meantime, immigration advocates are waiting on the result of another lawsuit now before the Second Circuit concerning some 40,000 Haitian TPS recipients. If that court decides that the administration can’t terminate their TPS status, they could be spared termination of their status before next March.

Source: Ninth Circuit ruling could allow Trump to deport 400,000 immigrants next year

The six countries 300000 immigrants must return to with end of TPS program

Potential future waves of asylum seekers via irregular arrival border points (e.g., Roxham Road):

The Trump administration has been eliminating the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, which has allowed more than 300,000 people from countries hit by war and natural disasters to legally stay in the U.S. for decades.

To end TPS protections for 98 percent of those recipients, the Department of Homeland Security has claimed that conditions in those countries are now suitable for thousands of their residents to return home.

A federal judge this month ordered a temporary halt to the administration’s actions – a ruling the Justice Department is appealing – leaving TPS holders facing an uncertain future as they weigh their options.

Here’s a look at the current conditions in the six countries that have lost their TPS status, listed in order of their deadlines for immigrants to leave the U.S. All TPS populations are estimates from the Congressional Research Service.


TPS ends: November 2, 2018

TPS first granted: 1997

Reason for TPS designation: Civil war

Estimated number of TPS recipients: 1,040

TPS was first granted to Sudan as the country was being torn apart by a decades-long civil war. When the country officially split in two in 2011, the U.S. granted TPS status to the newly-created South Sudan as well.

In the years since, deadly fighting has continued throughout South Sudan. Based on that ongoing conflict, the Trump administration announced in September that TPS status would be extended for that country.

But Sudan was cut off, with the administration arguing that armed factions are largely honoring cease-fire agreements that have been brokered in recent years. In its justification for ending TPS, the administration said armed conflict “is limited to” two southern provinces and the western province of Darfur, which rose to international prominence in the early 2000s when hundreds of thousands were killed and millions forced to flee as refugees.

The United Nations Security Council paints a more dire picture. A December report on the Darfur region found that food insecurity remains at crisis levels, human rights abuses continue, and the region is being flooded by people fleeing violence in South Sudan, with 89,000 refugees arriving in Darfur in 2017, further hindering the region’s recovery efforts.

Muna Ndulo, a law professor and director of the Institute for African Development at Cornell University, said the safety of returning Sudanese will depend on what specific corner of the country they’re from. If they go to the capital city of Khartoum or northern provinces, they should be fine.

“But if they’re from Darfur, they have nowhere to go,” Ndulo said. “The situation there is still very precarious. And my assumption would be that most of these (TPS holders) would be from that conflict area.”


TPS ends: January 5, 2019

TPS first granted: 1999

Estimated number of TPS recipients: 2,550

Reason for TPS: Hurricane Mitch

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights estimates that since April, at least 322 people have been killed in the violence, and hundreds more have been arrested. The White House even issued a round of sanctions in July against three Nicaraguan officials, accusing them of human rights abuses, and suspended the sale of any U.S. vehicles or equipment “that Ortega’s security forces might misuse.”

That nationwide dysfunction has sent the country’s economy, which was meager but had been one of the most stable in the region, into a free-fall. That combination makes Nicaragua a dangerous place for anybody to return to, according to Geoff Thale, vice president of the Washington Office on Latin America.

Thale recently spoke with a group of Nicaraguan priests who have been using churches and other buildings to hide protesters who have become targets of the regime. Thale said those are the very same priests who would help returning Nicaraguans safely reintragrate into society. But now, with the country beset by so much chaos: “They’re a little busy with other things.”


TPS ends: June 24, 2019

TPS first granted: 2015

Estimated number of TPS recipients: 8,950

Reason for TPS: Earthquake

Sitting atop the Himalayas, Nepal was rocked in 2015 by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that led to an avalanche on Mt. Everest and a major aftershock weeks later. The combination left nearly 9,000 dead and millions displaced.

The Nepalese government, with the help of more than $4 billion in international aid that has been pledged by donors, has taken many strides to rebuild the country, but conditions remain far from normal.

More than 270,000 homes have been rebuilt, but more than 800,000 are still listed as undergoing reconstruction from the quake, according to a May update from Nepal’s National Reconstruction Authority, a government task force created to oversee rebuilding.

The country has rebuilt more than 3,800 schools, about half of the agency’s target of 7,500. The country has only rebuilt 49% of its medical facilities, 21% of its security buildings, 18% of its drinking water systems, and 13% of its cultural heritage sites, which form the basis of much of the country’s tourism industry.

Prabha Deuja, president of the Virginia-based America Nepal Society, visited the region in January and said she saw construction efforts all around. But she said the country’s isolated location, and it’s limited government resources, has made it difficult to complete reconstruction and prepare Nepal for an influx of new residents.

“This is a third-world country. We have to get sand and supplies from different countries,” she said. If TPS holders had to return, “I can’t tell you what they will do. The job market, where they’re staying, it’s a really gray area.”


TPS ends: July 22, 2019

TPS first granted: 2010

Estimated population: 46,000

Reason for TPS: Earthquake

Rioting in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince grew so intense in July that the U.S. sent in the Marines to secure U.S. interests there, according to CNN.

That unrest forced the nation’s prime minister to resign, just the latest step in a seemingly never-ending series of calamities plaguing the country.

First designated for TPS following the catastrophic earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000, the country has since been hit by a cholera outbreak, an island-wide drought, and a direct hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 that created, in the words of the U.S. State Department, “a new humanitarian emergency.”

Frank Mora, director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University, said all of those ensuing problems have exacerbated Haiti’s earthquake recovery and cannot be treated as separate, individual crises. “Haiti is still living with the consequences of the earthquake,” he said.

Throwing tens of thousands more Haitians back to the island right now, Mora said, will only strain the government’s limited resources and endanger the Haitians who will be returning to a country with problems at every turn. The majority live in South Florida and New York.

“They’ll have to face the constant political uncertainty, the energy crisis, the food distribution challenges that still exist,” Mora said. “If there’s any country in the Western Hemisphere where these people will be going into a near humanitarian disaster, it would be to Haiti.”

El Salvador

TPS ends: Sept. 9, 2019

TPS first granted: 1991

Estimated number of TPS recipients: 195,000

Reason for TPS: Earthquake

Using any metric, El Salvador is considered one of the most dangerous, deadly countries on the planet.

In 2016, the Central American nation was deemed the murder capital of the world with a homicide rate of 104 people per 100,000, the highest for any country in nearly 20 years, according to data from the World Bank. The homicide rate reportedly fell in 2017, but crime remains so rampant that only 12% of Salvadorans believed that drop, according to InSight Crime.

In July, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 Travel Warning (on a scale of 1 – 4) urging Americans to reconsider traveling to El Salvador. “Violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common,” the advisory read.

Yet that is where the Trump administration has decided to send the largest group of TPS recipients, nearly 200,000 of them.

Mora said the situation only becomes worse as the U.S. continues deporting gang members from the U.S. back to El Salvador, bolstering the ranks of the gangs and drug cartels that control so many aspects of day-to-day life.

“That situation is difficult for people who live in El Salvador, who’ve been living that situation day in and day out,” Mora said. “So you take someone who has lived in Miami or New York, and you’re going to throw them into that situation. No one has the tools to prepare themselves for that.”


TPS ends: Jan. 5, 2020

TPS first granted: 1999

Estimated number of TPS recipients: 57,000

Reason for TPS: Hurricane Mitch

The homicide rate in Honduras dropped significantly in 2017, down to 42.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, the country’s lowest in a decade. But the country remains one of the most dangerous and politically unstable in the hemisphere.

The re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez to a second term in November led to violent protests that were met by intense government crackdowns.

Thale says the country remains in the grip of drug cartels who use kidnappings as a standard way to generate income. He said that makes any returning Honduran a “walking invitation for extortion.”

He said gangs will undoubtedly know who is returning to their neighborhoods, and will target people who are returning with cash after selling off their homes, cars, businesses and other goods before leaving the U.S. So how, Thale wondered, could anyone think that Honduras is in a position to successfully, and peacefully, welcome an influx of 57,000 people.

“No sane person thinks they can,” he said.

Source: The six countries 300000 immigrants must return to with end of TPS program

Documents reveal DHS knew ending protections could cause more, not less, illegal immigration – CNNPolitics

Not that surprising:

The Trump administration was warned by intelligence analysts that ending protections for hundreds of thousands of Central Americans living in the US would likely drive a spike in illegal immigration. They did it anyway.

That intelligence assessment was made public late Tuesday as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over the termination of Temporary Protected Status for citizens of multiple countries, many of whom have lived in the US upwards of two decades.

Questions have swirled since the administration began systematically terminating the majority of TPS designations on the books, impacting more than 400,000 immigrants who have lived in the US for years. The administration justified the moves by citing the law, saying that the Department of Homeland Security was compelled to end the protections because conditions from the original disasters that precipitated the protected status had improved.

But the intelligence report and another email from the acting secretary last year to White House chief of staff John Kelly add to other uncovered documents that raise serious questions about whether the Trump administration ignored its own experts’ analysis and recommendations to fulfill a pre-ordained objective.

The email explains that the administration was intending to “send a clear signal that TPS in general is coming to a close.”

The analysts’ report and email were revealed as part of a dispute in the lawsuit over the production of the internal documents that were used to come to the decision. Attorneys representing the immigrants suing in the case argue the government has been too slow to produce the documents.

The immigrants suing the government allege, among other things, that the decision to end the protections was racially motivated and not based on reasoned decision-making.

In supporting their request to the judge to order more document production, the attorneys released the assessment and a November email from then-acting Secretary Elaine Duke to Kelly laying out her reasoning to postpone deciding on TPS for Honduran immigrants for six months. Current Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ended it this spring when that time ran out.

DHS did not immediately respond to request for comment on Tuesday’s documents.

Intelligence analysts warned of illegal immigration

The intelligence assessment, dated November 2, 2017, concluded that there was a chance of “illegal return” for protected immigrants from the four main countries covered: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti. The analysts found the first two would have the “highest rates” of individuals trying to sneak back into the US, whereas Haitians would be impeded by the island’s location and Nicaragua would be mitigated by the low numbers of protectees relative to the other countries.

The report cited terrible conditions in the home countries, including an inability to absorb the returning immigrants, as well as deep ties to the US.

TPS beneficiaries have more than 200,000 US citizen children, analysts said. Many beneficiaries have home mortgages and far higher incomes than available in their home countries.

The assessment’s confidence level was “medium,” since the information was based on a lot of NGO reports and because migration is based on a number of complicated factors.

The email from Duke to Kelly last November came a few days before CNN reported alongside other media outlets that Kelly tried to pressure Duke to change her mind on Honduras — the only Central American country covered by TPS that had its status extended temporarily under this administration.

he email is dated November 6, the date the TPS decision was publicly announced.

DHS decision to end Haitian immigrant protections questioned

In the email, Duke went to great lengths to explain to Kelly that she believed postponing a decision on Honduras would still “send a clear signal that TPS in general is coming to a close” and “is consistent with the President’s position on immigration” — an apparent attempt to pre-empt any objections that she was not living up to the administration’s goals.

“This decision is a strong break with past practice and sends a strong message that this Administration will no longer routinely end TPS with little for the statute (sic),” Duke wrote. “By not affirmatively extending, I’m stating that I’m not satisfied that the country conditions remain — but not yet sure how to best end TPS for this country.”

The administration has denied, in general, that their objective was ending TPS overall. In public they have mainly said that they are merely restoring the law when it comes to TPS and have to end TPS for these countries because conditions have improved.

Announcements on the termination of protections have emphasized a “review of the disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original designation was based … as required by statute.” Officials and the statements have also placed the responsibility on Congress to come up with a more permanent solution.

Duke wrote to Kelly that she had received “multiple intelligence reports” the prior week that “TPS termination for Honduras could have strong consequences for other immigration, (transnational criminal organizations), and drug reduction priorities.”

“I want to understand this better so I can adequately determine the appropriate plan and path for termination,” she said, adding it would be critical to work with Honduras on the plan.

How Trump’s policies could worsen the migration issue he says he wants to solve
Duke also denied that she is making the choice “for fear of criticism” because “every decision” she makes gets criticized.

“I take seriously my role as Deputy and currently acting Secretary and would not make a decision based on anything but the facts,” Duke wrote. “While some are portraying this differently, this decision is really just a difference in strategy to get to the President’s objectives.”

In response to reporting that she and Kelly had clashed over the decision, Duke days later released a statement saying she had “received input” from across the administration, and that “at no time” did Kelly “pressure” Duke to terminate TPS for Central American countries.

Previous doubts raised

CNN has previously reported that ending TPS for Central Americans and Haiti ignored the recommendations of diplomats and that a staff-level report contradicted the idea that Haiti had recovered from the initial conditions that precipitated its TPS designation.

In response to the attorney’s allegations of not producing enough documents, attorneys for the government said it was actually their opponents who were acting in “bad faith.”

“Defendants have been working around the clock to respond to Plaintiffs’ ever-increasing volume of discovery requests and to comply with the Court’s orders,” the government wrote. “Agency counsel have been working weekends and through the night with no sleep to review and produce the documents Plaintiffs identified as being necessary for their preliminary injunction motion. Yet, at every turn Plaintiffs have demanded more and repeatedly threatened to go to the Court.”

via Documents reveal DHS knew ending protections could cause more, not less, illegal immigration – CNNPolitics

Kim’s Convenience actor deserves a giant round of applause: Teitel

Agree. Offence was reported to the employer (Toronto Police Force) but with social media and the press, while not identifying the officer involved to avoid doxxing:

Everyone has the capacity to be extremely confused driving through a downtown Toronto crosswalk on the day of a Blue Jays game — be they an urbanite who lives in a condo overlooking Rogers Centre or a tourist visiting from far-off lands like Tasmania and Thornhill.

Toronto traffic invites confusion. Not to be confused in the noise and smog on a sweltering day in the city is, well, extraordinary. Unfortunately, racism isn’t. So it went that this past Saturday a Toronto police officer allegedly reprimanded a confused driver as they hesitated to pull through the busy intersection of Lake Shore Blvd. W. and Rees St., not by giving them a stern lesson about the rules of the road but by telling them, “If you can’t drive, go back to your country.”

According to Andrew Phung, the pedestrian who allegedly saw this go down and who immediately tweeted about it, the driver in question was a person of colour. Phung, an actor on the CBC comedy Kim’s Convenience, was on his way to the Rogers Centre to catch the Blue Jays game when he alleges the incident took place. He posted the following to social media:

“I literally just witnessed a Toronto police officer shout ‘go back to your country’ because they were confused at the crosswalk,” he wrote. “To which two white dudes then shouted “amen, go back to where you f—ing came from.” THIS IS NOT MY CANADA!” (The hyphens are the Star’s.)

Phung took a photo of the offending cop (and pressed the strangers about their xenophobia), but he didn’t post the photo of the officer to Twitter. Instead, he sent it to the police and tweeted the following:

“Thanks to everyone for their support and kind comments. I’ve sent an email to the @TorontoPolice. They reached out and I provided photos and details. I’ll continue to follow up. Racism isn’t cool, I saw it and had to say something. Let’s all do the same if we see it happen.”

Indeed, let’s. But let’s also give Phung a giant round of applause because he handled an allegedly awful scenario in an unusually graceful, responsible way. He reported the cop’s alleged racism not only to TPS, but also on social media and in the press, ensuring it won’t simply go away. (There will undoubtedly be a followup or two to this story.) But just as admirably, Phung chose not to share the photo of the allegedly racist police officer on social media, ensuring that the guy and more crucially, his family, will not be doxxed, harassed and who knows what else.

It must have been tempting to share that photo. I know that I would have been tempted. But Phung’s restraint makes sense when you read what he told this paper following the incident. “I hope this is an opportunity for that police officer to reflect on his behaviour, his words,” Phung told the Star. “And to remember why he became a police officer in the first place. Maybe it wasn’t to direct traffic at a Jays game on a Saturday, but it was to help people.”

This statement reminds me of a sign hanging in a store near my house. It reads “Racist, homophobic and an a-hole? Come back when you’re not.” The implication here is that people can and do change for the better. Being a bigot is not necessarily a fixed state. That Phung chose to deliver such a generous message when he really didn’t have to is proof in my mind that he is a thoroughly decent guy and, at the risk of coming across as painfully corny, a great Canadian role model.

And yet, despite the actor’s admirable handling of the situation, racists have emerged on social media accusing him of staining the good name of the TPS. Their argument goes that one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch. And besides, maybe Phung misheard. Maybe he’s a liar. Maybe he was the bad driver. Maybe he wasn’t there at all.

This has always been true and perhaps it’s just more obvious in the Trump era, but holy cow: there are lot of white people in this world, and in this country particularly, who cannot admit that racism exists. Racism, to this type, is a thing of the distant past. It’s dead. And any claim by people of colour that it’s alive and well is brushed off in the same way an adult dismisses a kid who thinks she’s seen a ghost.

“You must have been confused.” “Maybe you’re tired and you misunderstood.” “Maybe there’s a logical explanation.”

Racism in Canada is not an illusion. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s a fact. Like traffic at a Toronto crosswalk it lingers big time. If you can’t admit it, you’re part of the problem.

via Kim’s Convenience actor deserves a giant round of applause | The Star

Trump administration extends special immigration status for Yemen citizens in US

A rare sensible policy decision:

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced the extension of a special immigration status for citizens of Yemen living in the United States.

About 1,250 Yemeni nationals are covered by the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, which allows citizens of countries that have undergone natural or man-made disasters to live and work in the U.S. The program protects foreign citizens who are already in the U.S., legally or illegally, when their home country is designated for protection after a disaster.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the 18-month extension, the longest period TPS designations can be extended.

Yemen was first designated for TPS on Sept. 3, 2015, six months after a civil war started there.

The internal conflict has raged on since then, with Houthi rebels and forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi each controlling large swaths of the country on the Arabian Peninsula.

Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in the war, as have the local branches of al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“After carefully reviewing conditions in Yemen with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined that the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Yemen’s current designation for TPS continue to exist,” the department said in a statement Thursday.

The extension applies only to current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries.

Peniel Ibe, a policy fellow for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that works to protect immigrants, advocated for a new TPS designation for Yemen.

“It’s critical that the Trump administration not only extend but also redesignate TPS for Yemen, which continues to struggle with extreme violence and poverty,” Ibe said in a statement. “A redesignation of TPS would allow more recently arrived Yemeni nationals to apply for protection through TPS — people who are fleeing from a U.S.-backed war in Yemen.”

The Trump administration has ended TPS for a handful of countries, mostly in Latin America.

Those cancellations have left around 300,000 foreign citizens who had TPS, some for almost two decades, unsure of whether they will be allowed to remain in the United States past their new TPS end date.

Source: Trump administration extends special immigration status for Yemen citizens in US

TPS solution for Haitians not a priority in immigration debate | Miami Herald

Implications for ongoing flows across the Canada US border:

The U.S. Senate isn’t seriously considering a path to permanent residency or citizenship for more than 300,000 Temporary Protected Status recipients as part of an immigration deal to keep 689,000 Dreamers from being deported.

Two senators involved in ongoing immigration talks, Florida Democrat Bill Nelson and Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, said there aren’t active serious discussions about the fate of TPS holders from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras.

“The bipartisan group is trying to get some consensus of what can pass that will protect the DACA Dreamers,” Nelson said. “What I expect is within two weeks we are going to get a DACA solution. I would hope it includes TPS, but if it messes up getting votes in order to pass the Dreamers, I think that would not be considered then and would be held for more comprehensive immigration.”

Flake said a proposal did exist at one point to take some visas from the diversity lottery and apply them to TPS recipients. But the idea, part of an immigration proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was rejected by President Donald Trump.

TPS has been discussed at recent Senate immigration meetings, according to Flake, but the topic isn’t under serious consideration as Senate Democrats and Republicans try to negotiate an immigration proposal that will receive 60 votes in the upper chamber, along with the approval of the GOP-controlled House of Representatives and Trump.

“It’s been discussed but nothing firm,” Flake said, adding there’s “no serious discussion” about TPS.

The Senate stance on TPS comes after Trump reportedly blasted TPS recipients in a White House meeting, saying, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,” and “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” — in reference to immigrants living and working legally in the United States under TPS and to making changes to the diversity lottery system.

Several senators, including Florida Republican Marco Rubio, have said in recent weeks that any immigration bill should focus on finding a solution for DACA recipients in exchange for stronger border security measures, though Trump has said he wants to end the diversity lottery and cut legal immigration as part of any deal to give DACA recipients and DACA-eligible unauthorized immigrants a path to citizenship. Trump’s proposal is a non-starter for most Democrats.

“Legal status for those currently in DACA & stronger Border Security has overwhelming support & is ideal starting point for Senate debate,” Rubio tweeted on Tuesday.

South Florida is home to the nation’s largest concentration of Haitians, along with a sizable number of Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans.

Nelson said “you have to create a different kind of category” for current TPS recipients, because a mass exodus of 60,000 Haitians from the U.S. would have ripple effects on the economies of both South Florida and Haiti. Multiple bills that would provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship for some or all TPS recipients have been proposed in the House of Representatives, but a vote on any TPS bill isn’t imminent.

“In solving immigration problems you really have to also solve what are you doing with TPS because … there’s going to be cases where, for example Haiti, you can’t return 60,000 people all at once to Haiti,” Nelson said. “The economy of Haiti could not swallow that, but that’s more for immigration reform.”

Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has signed on to multiple bills that would give TPS recipients a path to permanent citizenship and complained that most members of Congress were unaware of the issue. On Wednesday she said there would be more of an appetite to find a solution for TPS recipients if DACA recipients and DACA-eligible immigrants had already been protected from deportation by Congress.

“There just isn’t room in people’s hearts right now,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last month he would agree to debate and vote on an immigration bill in the Senate, though he didn’t agree on a specific proposal. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave a lengthy speech on Wednesday opposing a massive budget deal that would keep the government open because “the package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers.”

The Department of Homeland Security canceled TPS for Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua in recent months and extended Honduras’ TPS designation until July in order to formulate a final decision. Nearly 60,000 Haitians, 200,000 Salvadorans, 2,500 Nicaraguans and potentially 57,000 Hondurans could be forced to leave the country in 2019 unless Congress passes legislation.

“I think that we really have to knuckle down and bring our nation into a 21st century immigration system. It’s ridiculous the way we are operating right now,” said Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., who has also proposed multiple bills to prevent TPS recipients from being deported.

“The lack of compassion, the demonization of immigrants, it’s not healthy for our country.”

via TPS solution for Haitians not a priority in immigration debate | Miami Herald

‘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


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.”


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.


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


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.”


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.


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.


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.”


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.

Migrants with no status in the U.S. battle anxiety as they await Trump’s next move

Good analysis of potential future waves of border crossers – current measures and resources likely inadequate:

In the U.S. immigration debate, it’s called “twilight status,” and for many who hold it, the light is flickering and fading.

Unlike Canada or Mexico, which both routinely deport almost anyone without a valid visa, the U.S. government allows otherwise-illegal immigrants to remain without legal status — sheltered under various forms of government sufferance.

About 59,000 Haitians received Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a U.S. government waiver exempting them from deportation to their devastated homeland, after a catastrophic earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince in 2010.

That waiver was renewed several times by the Obama administration, which judged that Haiti was not ready to absorb returnees.

Then this summer, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (now White House chief of staff) signed off on a very short renewal — six months — letting it be known that there would probably be no more extensions.

“This six-month extension should allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States,” he said.

Fuelled by rumours Canada would be more sympathetic, many Haitians headed north — crossing to Hemmingford, Que., at a rate of about 250 people a day.

The Haitians are just one group among many that could soon be shown the door in the U.S., and might then show up on Canada’s doorstep.

On Sunday, Prime Justin Trudeau spoke about the “situation at the border at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle,” saying “entering Canada irregularly is not an advantage,” and that rules will be enforced to safeguard against security risks.

The Government of Canada is planning outreach efforts with Haitian communities in both Canada and the U.S., said Nancy Chan, a spokesperson for Citizens and Immigration Canada (CIC).

“We are taking a number of proactive measures to counter misinformation regarding Canada’s asylum system, including using social media,” said Chan.

Living on a waiver

Life on a deportation waiver is not easy.

First of all, the waivers are not free. Haitians were asked to pay $495 US for their six-month extension if they wanted the right to work. That’s one reason many chose to invest the money in a ticket to Canada. (Some did renew their waivers, and Canada may see a second wave of Haitians arrive when their final deadline of January 22 approaches).

The waivers also do not provide a pathway to permanent legal residency. The Haitians who fled into Quebec have always known they were living on borrowed time.

‘The countries that are facing the end of their grant under TPS are the ones who feel most under the gun’– Julia Gelatt, senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute

Citizens of ten countries currently hold TPS in the U.S.: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Nicaraguans and Hondurans received protected status in 1999 as a result of Hurricane Mitch, but it applies only to people already in the U.S. when the hurricane struck.

All of those 10 waivers come up for renewal at some point in the next 13 months, and the Trump administration seems likely to allow at least some of them to die.

But Chan did not answer a question about how the Canadian government would deal with other groups: “We will not speculate on future scenarios.”

Cancelling waivers sending people north

An estimated 317,000 people live on TPS waivers. More than half of them are Salvadorans granted TPS following the earthquake of 2001; they are facing a renewal decision by March next year. The remainder are mostly Hondurans and Haitians, who both face a renewal decision in January.

But TPS is not the only kind of twilight status, says Julia Gelatt, senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington.

“There are a number of other categories you could also put in there. There are people who are applying for different kinds of visas, such as a U visa for crime victims or a T visa for victims of trafficking.”

“A lot of people who are in these categories are pretty confident their visa is coming, as opposed to people in TPS whose programs are being reconsidered, and cancellation is a more imminent concern.”

Also in March next year, a different waiver program called Deferred Enforced Departure will come to an end leaving about 14,000 Liberians (most of whom fled their country’s civil war years ago) with a tough decision to make.

“The countries that are facing the end of their grant under TPS are the ones who feel most under the gun,” says Gelatt. “There’s this looming deadline.”

If those migrants suddenly lose their legal status in the U.S., they could head for Canada.

The ‘Dreamers’

These groups, however, are dwarfed by a class of people referred to as “Dreamers,” named for the oft-introduced but never-approved DREAM Act.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM), was crafted to help those brought to the U.S. as children by allowing them to live in the country where they grew up providing they graduate from school and have no criminal record. About 65,000 kids in this category graduate from U.S. high schools annually.

The DREAM Act has been struggling to become law since 2001, and has often seemed close to bipartisan success. But in recent years more Republicans have turned against it.

In the meantime, the Dreamers must get by with a less secure status called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — a temporary reprieve, renewable every two years (at a fee), with no path to citizenship.

There are about 840,000 young people living on DACA waivers in the US.

U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that he would end the DACA program, and since his inauguration a handful of Dreamers have been arrested and held in detention, despite having paperwork that says they are enrolled.

Most threatening of all for the Dreamers, though, is the lawsuit threatened by Texas and nine other states. They have given the Trump administration a deadline of September 5 to shelve the program or face a court challenge for executive overreach. (In over three-quarters of cases, Dreamers were brought to the U.S. from Mexico.)

If Trump keeps his campaign promise, and ends the DACA program, all of the people currently covered by DACA would lose their status over the next two years.

It is not difficult to imagine that many Dreamers, who typically speak English as their first language, might prefer to try their luck in Canada than face deportation to a homeland they can hardly remember.

Source: Migrants with no status in the U.S. battle anxiety as they await Trump’s next move – Politics – CBC News