The Trump Administration presumably used TPS as a political tool
The Trump Administration put thousands of immigrants at risk by revoking the Temporary Protection Status, according to State Department documents.
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Amid the political turbulence facing the country, many might have already forgotten the Trump Administration's decisions against the immigrant community in the country.
Between walls, deportations, and raids, the reality lived by immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala is a matter of the past.
But a report published by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, headed by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, brings to light a dangerous strategy used by the Donald Trump government just a year ago to turn these immigrants into a political tool.
In a 150-page document entitled "Playing politics with humanitarian protections: how political aims trumped U.S. national security and the safety of TPS recipients," the Committee details the way in which the Trump Administration intentionally ignored the warnings about national security risks and the danger it would imply for half a million immigrants by revoking the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Salvadorans, Hondurans and Haitians.
In May 2018, the Trump Administration announced the end of TPS because countries "have recovered sufficiently" to receive their citizens back.
But according to Senator Menendez's report, the reasons were different.
Letters, memos, and embassy cables framed the evidence that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was advised by senior State Department officials to avoid the end of the program for fear of destabilizing the region.
Officials argued that by losing their status, immigrants would go underground and could increase gang violence or join the ranks of organized crime groups.
The documents also show an estimate made at the time that about 273,000 U.S. citizen children would be separated from their parents or forced to return to a country they don’t see as their own.
"Despite these warnings, the Trump administration decided to recklessly terminate the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, with full knowledge of the inherent dangers of its decisions," the report explains.
Even more serious is the fact that documents show the decision was taken to coincide with the electoral cycle and help the president's political campaign for reelection in 2020, "considerations that have no basis for humanitarian protection."
“Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic Staff uncovered that senior Trump administration appointees in the State Department recommended a shorter termination period to avoid hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients losing their status during the height of the 2020 election, ”says the report.
Despite having at hand all the information necessary to know the economic and social conditions of each country - who among earthquakes and hurricanes still struggle to get afloat - the government insisted on jeopardizing the fragile stability of the region and the life of hundreds of thousands of people.