Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is one more of those LEGAL immigration programs that needs to be completely reformed or dumped altogether. It might sound good on the surface. Of course we can’t send nationals of certain countries home to a devastated country, they should get to stay for 18 months until their country improves is how the logic goes.
However, here is the rub—they never go home! Every 18 months the federal government gives them another extension! Look at wikipedia here where we learn that a 2001 earthquake in El Salvador is responsible for permission for over 100,000 Salvadorans already (illegally? on tourist or student visas?) in the US to file for TPS. Honduras is even worse, ‘temporary’ status has been regularly extended since 1998! Somalia longer still!
Can’t just blame Obama!
Some years ago when Bush did one of those Central American TPS extensions he literally said we need to keep them here so they could prop up their home country’s economy by sending remittance money back home! That means taking money out of the US economy! Right! The Bush Administration surely extended Somali TPS several times.
When Obama extended TPS status for Somalis that is only for a relatively small number who have been here for a very long time. Al Jazeera tells us this:
Some 355,000 people total hold temporary protected status, with El Salvadorians making up more than half of those. The government regularly extends TPS for some nationalities, sometimes for decades. An estimated 270 Somalis have held their TPS designation continuously since 1991.
Somali TPS holders though are a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 10,000 Somalis entering the US annually through the permanent Refugee Resettlement Program.
By the way, Al Jazerra also tells us that there are 10,000 Syrians in the US eligible for TPS and they are not rushing to make themselves known to the government.
TPS is really an excuse to give work permits and legal permission to stay in the US forever (waiting for amnesty of course!), but it is not supposed to be a path to citizenship (you can bet many TPS holders are voting anyway!). Refugees, on the other hand, who are here to stay no matter what, are given permanent resident status and ultimately citizenship.
See Katie Pavlich writing at Townhall yesterday. She blurs the lines between the two LEGAL immigration programs, but who can blame her, our LEGAL immigration system is a chaotic mess.
Outside of the investor visas, student visas, and worker visas, the three big LEGAL programs that admit (or permit legal presence) are the Refugee Resettlement/Asylum Program, the Diversity Visa Lottery and Temporary Protected Status—all must be reformed or abolished!