There are currently over 300,000 Central Americans in the United States that have been given temporary protected status. However, in late July of 2018, President Trump signed a new policy that would end this protected status and send those individuals back to their original home. This new policy has many issues, including that it could be detrimental to the national security interests of the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement that the removal of the protections was necessary after conditions of the countries immigrants were originally from were studied. After these studies, the DHS stated that the conditions the temporary status once protected no longer existed, and therefore the protections did not need to be kept in place. Whether or not the conditions have actually improved is a matter of debate.
In addition to this, the policy change could be detrimental to the United States and its citizens. In retaliation to the policy change, the counter-narcotics and anti-gang cooperation that has been seen between these countries and the United States could end. That, in addition to the fact that the countries could refuse to accept deported citizens, places the U.S. national security at risk.
One of the biggest arguments against the policy change, is that many of the children that will have their temporary protection stripped away will be forced into the very gangs they and their families were trying to escape from. One of those gangs is MS-13, a gang in which President Trump referred to as “animals” not that long ago.
“Taking this protection away from those who have lived in the U.S., some for decades, just does not make any sense,” says James O. Hacking, III, of Hacking Law Practice, LLC. “These countries still have some of the highest homicide rates, with little law enforcement capabilities. For those returning to these counties, particularly the children that are U.S. citizens, these are still clearly very dangerous areas.”
There are also concerns that this new policy change could increase illegal immigration, something that President Trump has also been trying to combat in the recent months. So far, it does not seem as though there would be any risks to allowing these protected individuals to remain in the country, as experts have noted that they have created stable homes and that the majority of them have settled successfully into the country.