El Salvador has a history, and that history helps explain why sending over 200,000 people back to that country against their will is a monstrous decision:
The Trump administration will end protections for certain nationals of El Salvador, a move that could leave more than 200,000 immigrants who have lived in the US more than 15 years without any legal status, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.
The termination will come with an 18-month delay, as the administration also recently did in ending other recent Temporary Protected Status for other countries. That time will allow individuals who have lived under the status to either seek other means of staying in the US or prepare to leave. The delay means the more than 250,000 TPS protectees will have until September 9, 2019, to either find a different way to stay in the US or prepare to leave.
The widely expected move culminates a series of similar decisions from the Trump administration to substantially curtail the use of Temporary Protected Status -- a protection from deportation and authorization to live and work legally for nationals of countries that have suffered a disaster such as war, an epidemic or natural disasters.
The DHS says more than 250,000 Salvadorans -- all of whom are required to have lived in the US continually since 2001 -- are covered by TPS. Previous estimates by the department have put the number who will most likely be left without other protections around 200,000.
One of the really never fully-realized accountable moments in American history has been this country's support for El Salvador's death squads:
1980: Three American Catholic nuns along with a lay missionary were beaten, raped and shot to death by an El Salvador government death squad early in the country’s more-than-decade-long civil war. The four men convicted of the crime later said that they were following orders from higher up, and a 1993 UN report concluded that there was a cover-up over the incident by top military and political officials in country’s U.S.-backed, right-wing regime. Also in 1993, a U.S. State Department report said, “This particular act of barbarism did more to inflame the debate over El Salvador in the United States than any other single incident.”
Today, there is virtually no debate and no remorse for what we did to El Salvador. Instead of thoughtful discussions about what to do with people who do not want to go back to a country where murdering criminals run wild, we get the way Trump talks when allowed visitation with his phone. We get the greatest hits parade. Lock Her Up, Throw Them Out, Build The Wall, You'll Be So Tired Of All The Winning. Yeah, right.
It may be difficult for an American to realize this, but not everyone wants to go back to the country of their birth, especially when their relatives were murdered for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's inhumane to think of this as the result of Trump's election, but that's what it really is. The people who voted for Trump voted to send people back to where they came from. In the case of El Salvador, that means sending them back to a country where their sudden arrival in a particular neighborhood might trigger their murder.
Thousands of children entering the United States illegally from Central America might qualify for refugee status but are being deported to their own country where they face persecution by gangs, the United Nations Refugee Agency has warned.
The arrival of nearly 70,000 children traveling alone at the U.S. border last year - mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - sparked a row in Washington over how to handle a crisis President Barack Obama called “an urgent humanitarian situation”.
Many children are making the dangerous journey from Central America - a region with the world’s highest murder rates - through Mexico to the United States to escape rampant drug-fuelled gang violence at home.
Children stopped by immigration officials in the U.S. or Mexico and deported can face persecution by local street gangs, known as maras, and could therefore be eligible for refugee status, the UNHCR says.
“Some children and their families are afraid of being persecuted by the maras when they return. Our interest is that children are properly interviewed before they are deported,” said Fernando Protti, UNHCR regional representative for Central America.
The decent thing to do is to oppose this policy and resist the Trump Regime. I mean, what else is there? What other options exist for a country so used to outrage and horror? Politically, in this country, we have not done enough, either during the Obama and Bush years or in the current time frame, to come up with a rational, humane policy.
Well, that time is now.