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The US is deporting the children of TPS recipients

The Boston Globe's Maria Sacchetti published an article earlier this week about the children of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who are in deportation proceedings. TPS is a form of immigration relief available to nationals of certain countries that have been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be undergoing a humanitarian crisis such as a civil war or a natural disaster. There are currently eight countries with a TPS designation: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Individuals with TPS can apply for a work permit and cannot be detained by DHS. TPS allows immigrants to stay and work in the United States but does not offer them other immigration benefits, like the chance to adjust to permanent resident status or file a petition to bring a relative to the United States.

In her article, Sacchetti profiles a family from El Salvador. The father and mother came in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and have TPS. Three of their four children were born in the United States and are therefore citizens. Their oldest son, however, was born in El Salvador and crossed the border in 2012 when he was 15 to reunite with his family. He has no status and faces a deportation hearing next year. He's a model student who dreams of becoming an engineer, not exactly who you would imagine as a "priority" for deportation.

The government doesn't keep statistics on how many of these cases exist, but various non profits and think  tanks estimate that there must be thousands. We normally hear about the other side of these cases and it's usually the parents who are in facing deportation. It's always heartbreaking to see a child going through deportation proceedings, but this seems particularly unjust seeing as this minor has three U.S. Citizen siblings and parents who are in the country legally.

This case highlights many injustices of current immigration law, particularly the uncertainty that comes with TPS and the ambiguity of the DHS enforcement priorities. It's another example of why we desperately need immigration reform.

 

Read the full Boston Globe article here.

"US deporting children of parents allowed to stay" by Maria Sacchetti. The Boston Globe. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/22/deporting-children-parents-allowed-stay/kpP4aWNq3olgZbsO4zkiaI/story.html

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