The Department of Homeland Security is ending the 17-year “temporary protected status” (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadorans forcing legal citizenship application or certain deportation back to their homeland, El Salvador. TPS is slated to expire on September 9, 2018; an 18-month adjustment period to allow for smooth transition.
This adjustment provision by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is not a legal requirement but an empathetic decision to allow Salvadorans to get their affairs in order and determine whether to become legal residents of the United States.
Time to Settle
For those who may need a refresher on the influx in 2001 of TPS El Salvadorans, it started with a natural disaster of epic proportion—a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in January of that year followed one month later by a 6.6 registered quake on the Richter scale that devastated the country. Then President George W. Bush and El Salvador President Francisco Flores crafted a package for protected status:
“President Bush agreed today to allow as many as 150,000 Salvadorans to remain in the United States for up to 18 months to help El Salvador recover from a series of devastating earthquakes earlier this year. Most of the Salvadorans are in this country without legal visas or work permits.
President Francisco Flores of El Salvador had requested that the administration grant ”temporary protected status” to thousands of his countrymen living illegally here, saying that money they earn in the United States and send to relatives back home would be as valuable to rebuilding efforts as increased American aid.”
But the key words here are temporary and illegal. The original 18-month program has now extended to 18-years and plays a heavy role in why our immigration system is fractured. This “protected” class, having enjoyed living in America illegally, must go home—or make America their country of choice.
In a statement by Homeland Security, it is in fact, a legal requirement by statute, for our government to terminate the Salvadorans protected status:
“The decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador was made after a review of the disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist as required by statute. Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”
And what about those hard-working, city dwelling (And yes, I refer to cities because the majority of immigrants are in Los Angeles and New York) Salvadorans? What is to become of them? I have a short answer; become an American citizen or go home. It appears the Salvadorans who arrived in our country under TPS have thrived and set down roots. You can verify that statement within this political grandstanding by Senator Bob Menendez (NJ-D):
‘‘Now, having their livelihoods and future endangered, over 200,000 law-abiding Salvadorans will be faced with the cruel decision of packing up their lives and tearing their family apart by self-deporting, or becoming undocumented and forced into the shadows of our society to avoid Trump’s deportation force.”
So, the options are to leave or shrink into the shadows as an illegal immigrant? No, they can and should take the necessary steps to become a citizen. Why is this concept so hard for Liberals to process?
How to Become a U.S. Citizen
For the 200,000 Salvadorans who have resided in America for almost two decades, the process of citizenship is relatively simple, and frankly, with a history of being a welcomed and immersed into our culture and way of life, there are even fewer steps to complete.
In a nutshell, here are the steps to take; petition for a green card. With 20 years living and working in America, any upstanding Salvadoran would have a bevvy of citizens to act as a sponsor.
Next, make sure you meet basic eligibility requirements which include being at least 18-years of age, a grasp of conversational English and are a person of good moral character (good old dependable Bob Menendez can vouch for you).
Finally, submit your application, the N-400—it’s one form, take the test, and then the oath (upon passing the test) pledging to be a great American.
It is a simple process, and for an immigrant who would like to stay out of the illegal shadows, it’s the best option. If you don’t believe my analysis, you can read all about it in a matter of minutes on this “how to become a citizen” government website. The choice should be a simple one.
The American people desire the immigrant that brings the “Dream” alive. They want hard-working, entrepreneurial, law-abiding people who love this country, want to improve this country, and reap the benefits She has to offer. But Americans don’t want the shadow-illegals; they want citizens. The Department of Homeland Security is in the right on this issue with TPS and the Salvadorans. Temporary was over 15-years ago. And to my Salvador friends, well, you have 18-months to get your papers in order. And Go!