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NASW DC Metro Chapter and NASW National Oppose President Trump's Revocation of Temporary Protection

Wednesday, January 24, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tyler Woodcook
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On January 8, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the end to TPS for El SalvadoransCongress created TPS in 1990 to grant temporary protection to people who could not return to their home countries because of a political or environmental catastrophe. El Salvador was designated for TPS when the country was struck by a catastrophic earthquake in 2001. The following was the rationale for the order, as stated by DHS:


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.


The NASW DC Metro chapter and NASW national office feels that DHS' decision was misguided and could lead to disturbing consequences. It should be noted that in Washington, DC, alone there are over 30,000 Salvadorans that will be directly impacted by this decision.


The Trump administration failed to consider the fate of as many as 200,000 Salvadorians who have been living legally in the United State as TPS residents for close to 20 years. With the initial phase of deportations related to this revocation of TPS scheduled to begin in September of 2019, most of those affected will have a relatively short period of time to re-organize their lives to relocate to El Salvador.


Many of these individuals are children and young adults who have never lived in El Salvador and know little about the culture or even the language. Others are heads of household who have made deep roots in the United States in two decades, including employment. The Trump administration's decision fails to recognize that El Salvador is beset with economic and public safety problems to which these deported TPS residents will be exposed.


Compounding this action is the fact that not only are Salvadorans being impacted by the administration's aggressive TPS policy, but Haitians will soon suffer the same fate. Over 50,000 Haitians who have lived and worked in the United States since a 2010 earthquake that nearly destroyed the country were informed by DHS that their TPS designation will be canceled in 2019. Like the Salvadorans, Haitians will be forced to return to a country about which younger children know nothing of. They will also be forced to leave jobs and return to a place where adult unemployment is high.


The social work profession is adamantly opposed to all governmental policies that result in massive disruptions of the lives of individuals, families, and children. The Trump TPS revocation policy does just that.


Unfortunately, the debate over the fate of Salvadorans and Haitians turned even uglier when-during a negotiating session with a small group of members of Congress-President Trump made racially charged disparaging and profane remarks about the country of Haiti, the entire African continent, and El Salvador. Trump's remarks were an overt indication of his apparent deeply held views that citizens from black and brown nations are inherently undesirable as immigrants to the United States, as compared with citizens of European countries such as Norway.


Trump's demeaning statement about his preferences as to which racial and ethnic groups should be allowed in the United States most certainly indicated what drove his decision to revoke TPS eligibility from Salvadorans and Haitians. What's more, we can also assume that his strong opposition to the "diversity lottery" is racially motivated. The administration clings to the misinformed notion that the lottery is akin to a racial quota system, but the history of U.S. immigration policy refutes that position. Modern African migration increased after 1990 with the diversity lottery. It is a little known fact that when Congress authorized 50,000 new immigrants a year as a diversity category, it primarily intended to bring in people from prosperous European countries where the desire to migrate to the United States was very low. The irony was that many well-educated Africans used the diversity lottery to their advantage to immigrate to this country. African immigrants did not leave their "huts" to come here. In fact, they brought highly desirable skills that they contributed to the U.S. economy.


NASW DC Metro and NASW national office urge the Trump administration to consider the consequences of its order to revoke TPS classification for Salvadorans and Haitians. From a humanitarian point of view, the administration must immediately rescind this order.


At the same time, NASW condemns President Trump's racist comments directed at prospective immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and the 54 countries on the African continent. It is time for American leaders to fully embrace diversity and fairness in a comprehensive immigration policy. Our country cannot allow itself to regress to accepting immigration policies that explicitly exclude immigrants from black and brown countries.



If you are affected by this order and have questions about your status, please call 800-375-5283 or visit





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