Some illegal immigrants from Hondurans and Nicaraguans have been granted a continuance of their temporary amnesty because of a devastating hurricane in their homeland. What hurricane you ask? Why it is the one that hit Honduras and Nicaragua in 1998!
This policy made to sense to the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
Our immigration system is a pitiful joke.
On Wednesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that she was extending the legal status of immigrants from Honduras and Nicaragua for another 18 months. The action was purportedly taken to allow the countries more time to recover from a hurricane. If you’re having trouble remembering a huge hurricane that hit the region recently, it’s not you. The disaster which led to the deportation halt, Hurricane Mitch, took place in the fall of 1998—more than 14 years ago.
Napolitano’s designations for Honduras and Nicaragua are the eleventh extensions of the original grants of TPS. With the passage of time, the findings in the extensions become more and more implausible, as does the notion that there is anything temporary about the program and that the conditions in those countries today are fairly traceable to the 1998 hurricane.
The truth is it has become politically unthinkable to end the TPS designations, especially given how long they’ve been in place. The policies now stretch through three presidential administrations, two Democratic and one Republican.
In many ways, the extensions are a symptom of the nation’s broken immigration system. About 64,000 Hondurans and 3,000 Nicaraguans are affected by the programs. Another TPS for El Salvador based on earthquakes in 2001 affects even more people: 212,000, making it a major source of remittances for that country. (It’s unclear how many of these individuals are now eligible for deferred deportation under the program President Barack Obama announced last June deferring deportation for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children.)…