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ICYMI: A Family Braces for Dad’s Deportation

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TPS Holders & Their Families Stare Down Possible Family Separation as Result of Termination of TPS

In an article for WNYC, Matt Katz exposes the horrific consequences of the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders and families across the nation.

If Congress does not act to create a permanent legislative solution for TPS holders and their families, the nightmare facing Madison’s family and hundreds of thousands of others will become reality.

Katz’s article is excerpted below and available online here.

… While these Trump Administration changes to the immigration system have garnered dramatic news footage of families split apart, another policy change — the elimination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — could result in far more family separations.

The federal government is terminating TPS at staggered dates for a series of countries. The deadlines loom like ticking time bombs for immigrant families, out of the media’s spotlight, but ever present during private family moments — like at an arcade filled with vintage games in Asbury Park, NJ.

… Madison lives with her mom in Washington Heights and she sees her dad, Giddel, who lives nearby, every Sunday. They go to Dave & Buster’s, or the beach. On a recent rainy Sunday, they hung out at the Silverball Museum Arcade in Asbury Park.

Madison understands that the Trump Administration is ending TPS for Hondurans on January 2, 2020.

“I can’t bear the thought of not seeing my father every single day that I’m supposed to see him,” Madison said. “And it breaks my heart that my family has to go through this…Because I need my dad and my mom. I need my whole family.”

… Left behind will be TPS recipients’ children, who are U.S. citizens. Madison is one of an estimated 53,000 children who have a parent from Honduras with TPS.

“It’s really hard for me because when I think of him being deported, I think of him not being there for my graduation, which I really want him to be there for, and moments where I get an A+ on my test and I’m really excited and I can tell him about,” she said. “Just small things — like I saw a really pretty flower in the garden, and I want to tell him about it. And you know, just hanging out with him.”

… In the meantime, Madison and her dad seem to be practicing what it could be like if they’re apart. She stays with her mom most of the week, and texts with her Dad. When she described a text she received about him sending her a virtual hug, she cried.

“And it made me really happy, because even though I’m not there, and even though he’s not here with me, I can still feel his presence, you know?” she said.

If Giddel is deported, he’ll bring with him a little picture of a ladybug that Madison made five years ago. He has kept it in his wallet ever since. “It just makes me feel that my daughter is always with me,” he said.

… But for Madison, the anxiety of not knowing where her father will be on her 14th birthday is already taking a toll.

“I realized that nothing is forever, you know?” she said. “Not even family.”