America's Voice En Español »
In a new piece for the San Francisco Examiner, Jaya Padmanabhan explains the devastating consequences of the Trump administration’s systematic termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Hundreds of thousands of US citizen children are facing potential separation as their parents face being sent back to countries that are plagued with violence and turmoil.
Padmanabhan’s piece is excerpted below and available in full here.
San Francisco Public Defender, Jeff Adachi, stood at the top of the steps leading to City Hall, and warned the assembled audience that there will be “billions of dollars in loss of revenue and loss of gross domestic product if TPS is removed.”
Since the Trump administration assumed office, the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program has been in its crosshairs. Ten countries are on the TPS designated list currently: El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Nepal. Most are scheduled to have their TPS designations terminated in 2019. TPS holders have been given one final chance to apply for TPS before their status expires.
There are about 300,000 individuals from Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador holding TPS status. An ILRC policy report puts the tax payer cost at $3.1 billion if these 300,000 people were all deported, with $45.2 billion in reduced gross domestic product. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at. The ripple effect in San Francisco, home to 10,000 to 15,000 TPS holders, would be considerably damaging, as Adachi intimated.
Many immigration hardliners argue that the word “temporary” in TPS means exactly that. Life in America was never meant to be a permanent solution.
Some have even suggested taking away the privilege of work authorizations, which is at the crux of the TPS debate. Once the ability to work in America is taken away, it’s harder to put down roots, and hence there will be fewer costs incurred with deportations, the argument goes.
That’s not a solution, that’s creating a crisis to solve a crisis. Having people reside among us, without working and relying on America’s safety net programs will be costly and dangerous.
When people are gainfully employed, there’s less crime and there is more money and resources available for all of us.
Besides humans are social beings; we tend to form relationships irrespective of job or immigration status and those relationships inevitably lead to putting down roots. This then would take us full circle back to where we started, unable to deport those who have U.S. born children in the country.
The National TPS Alliance claims 273,000 citizen children have at least one parent with TPS.
Ultimately, our policies need to keep families together. Guzman has already suffered the ravages of a family separation once, caused by the prospect of violence. This time, the separation would be merely for the administration to make a point. While we calculate economic costs of programs, I believe the social costs, ones that are hard to quantify, are infinitely greater.