Here we go again. A couple of decades ago we granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Salvadorans, Hondurans and Liberians. More recently it was granted to Haitians, but as Mark Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies famously said in 1999—there is nothing quite so permanent as temporary protected status.
Readers this is one more back channel way for foreign nationals to stay in the US beyond the limits of the visas that got them here in the first place. A “crisis” happens at home and the US government says, oh, poor thing, we can’t send you back to a country in crisis. So the alien stays and stays and stays (with a right to work) and eventually buys a home or a business and then the politicians say, we must extend TPS because heck they are all settled in!
The only thing these immigrants can’t do is vote (but you can bet they are figuring out how to do that too!).
Now we have James Zogby of the Arab American Institute (AAI) petitioning Obama to give TPS status to Syrians. Well, using his logic Egyptians should stay, and Libyans, and Iranians, and Yeminis, and the list goes on.
Here is what AAI is reporting at its website:
Yesterday, the Arab American Institute, in a formal request to the Obama administration, asked for Temporary Protected Status privileges to be extended to Syrian citizens currently residing in the United States. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a procedure by which the Secretary of Homeland Security may provide temporary asylum to individuals who are in America and who cannot safely return to their home countries.
As the Syrian uprising nears its 10th month, the situation on the ground has grown increasingly dangerous for average Syrian citizens. Questions continue about the safety of Syrian nationals upon their return home from visits to the U.S. As a result, many Syrians currently in the U.S. are deeply concerned for their personal safety and the safety of their families if they return home.
If granted, TPS will allow Syrian citizens who are currently here – mostly as students and tourists – to stay in the U.S. until they can safely return home. It does not contribute to granting an immigrant permanent residence, and reverts the beneficiary to his or her previous immigration status as soon as the temporary protection ends. [But, ahhhhhhh! it never ends!–ed]
Those original nearly 200,000 Salvadorans that live in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area have been here for two decades (growing their population) and are now looking for an extension of TPS AGAIN this March—a topic which I’ve extensively covered at Potomac Tea Party Report (here is one recent post). Oh, and by the way, during their TPS they can figure out just how to make permanent asylum claims (or find a US citizen to marry!).