Rondell Treviño, Founder and President, Memphis immigration Project
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) has ended for 200,000 plus Salvadoran Immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2001 after the Department of Homeland Security has determined El Salvador’s conditions have improved.
Salvadorans will have until September 9, 2019 to leave the U.S. or find a new way to acquire residency. In other words, if they don’t leave by September 9, 2019 or find a way to acquire residency, then they will be at the same risk of deportation as the 11 million undocumented currently in the U.S.–except they all have provided their addresses to the Federal Government.
Here are five things to consider.
El Salvador is dangerous, not safe. The Department of Homeland Security has come to the conclusion that El Salvador is safe enough to live. However, this country is one of the top five most dangerous countries in the world due to its high homicide levels and many dangerous gangs of which leads to everything from violence, extortion to arms, drug trafficking, and sex trafficking. Not to mention the country is one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, how in the world does the Department of Homeland Security come to the conclusion that El Salvador is safe to live? This isn’t true.
Ending Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for 200,000 plus Salvadoran Immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since 2001 is a death sentence.
Scripture. The Bible is clear that God cares for the vulnerable, and therefore as Christians, we are commanded to care for the vulnerable in our midst, including Immigrants. God has created everyone, including Immigrants, in His Image, which means they have infinite value and potential in His sight.
If the 200,000 plus Salvadoran Immigrants are being forced to go back to a country that creates more vulnerability for them, then as Christians we must stand up and speak out against this. The Department of Homeland Security ending TPS goes against what Scripture clearly says–and although they do not operate as a Christian Church or organization, we as Christians must speak out in such a way that we encourage them to do so. Salvadoran Immigrants do not deserve to be uprooted from their homes like that–this is unjust.
Family Separation. With TPS ending, this creates a cycle that separates families from one another. Scripture clearly talks about God Himself establishing families as a fundamental building block of healthy societies. Therefore, separating families by forcing 200,000 plus Salvadoran Immigrants to leave the U.S. puts a significant dent in the building of healthy societies as a whole.
Economic loss. The 200,000 plus Salvadoran Immigrants have contributed significantly to the U.S. economy, including paying roughly $4.8 billion in Social Security and Medicare taxes over the past decade. In other words, they help our economy tremendously. Ending TPS will, in fact, put a dent in our economy.
Reform TPS. Temporary Protective Status should have been reformed while at the same time extending TPS for El Salvador. This would keep families together, obey the command to care for the vulnerable and love our neighbor and allow Congress to implement needed reforms to the TPS program. Unforutnately, this did not happen.
Memphis immigration Project exists to engage issues of Immigration from a biblical perspective.