News

Trump’s war on (non hot white female) immigrants continues

Say what you will about Trump, one thing’s clear: he’s not exactly a fan of immigrants.

Unless, obviously, they are white, and preferably female and attractive.

And we’re not just talking about his wife – Trump Model Management has its own dark, legally questionable history with foreign beauties.

“The agency never obtained work visas on their behalf, even as they performed modeling assignments in the United States,” according to an investigative feature by nonprofit news organization Mother Jones.

But anyway. Ignoring the migrants he likes – he’s been packing punch after punch to many of the immigrants who have been in the US for years, and who make the country the beautiful diverse melting pot that it is.

There’s “The Wall” – a concept so outdated even Game of Thrones recently got rid of theirs. (Haha.)

Then there’s the Muslim Ban (all three versions of it so far).

And then there’s the decision to end protection for “Dreamers” under DACA – a group largely comprised of those with Mexican origin, but also thousands from India, Pakistan, South Korea, the Philippines, Jamaica…the list goes on.

The latest strike was made on Monday, against some 5,000 Nicaraguan immigrants who have – until now – had protected status in the US.

“Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua,” a press release from the Department of Homeland Security declared.

The TPS designation – which has been in place since 1999 – was intended to  shield undocumented Nicaraguan immigrants from deportation after Hurricane Mitch devastated the nation, displacing over 300,000 people.

According to Secretary Duke, it’s now time for those migrants to leave because “temporary conditions caused in Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch no longer exist”.

That’s true. But many of the people impacted by this decision have been living in the US for nearly 20 years now. They have careers. They’ve gotten married and had kids – or even grandkids – who are US citizens. Their lives are here.

But, no worries, the Trump administration is giving them 12 months to figure it all out – meaning either leave or change your immigration status.

And it doesn’t end there. The press release stated that “more information is needed” to make a decision about the TPS status of thousands of Hondurans – but they could very easily end up in the same situation.

More than 200,000 migrants from Haiti* and El Salvador are also at risk, and could be told that they are losing their status over the next few weeks.

That’s a lot of lives in limbo.

*Update: On November 20th, the Trump administration did indeed announce it is ending TPS protection for Haitians as well. About 59,000 people will be affected.

As with DACA, the Trump Administration has decided to tear protection from the hands of thousands of migrants but then hand over the responsibility to someone else. The press release states:

“Recognizing the difficulty facing citizens of Nicaragua – and potentially citizens of other countries – who have received TPS designation for close to two decades, Acting Secretary Duke calls on Congress to enact a permanent solution for this inherently temporary program.”

Translation:

“Yeah, we know this sucks. But it’s not our problem.”

Luckily some representatives are already working on it: Miami Republican Carlos Curbelo proposed a bill, with bipartisan backing, that would help TPS recipients from all these countries to gain permanent residency.

“While hoping and waiting they would be able to return to their native countries for years, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Honduran and Haitian migrants have become essential parts of the South Florida community by contributing to our local economy and our culture,” Curbelo’s website states.

“While I will continue to support extensions for Temporary Protected Status, this bipartisan legislation would give these migrants the peace of mind to continue giving back to their communities, contributing to our economy and supporting their families.”

Cross your fingers!

For clarification, of course there are thousands of white undocumented migrants in the US as well – for instance from countries like Ireland and Poland. But it sure does seem like Trump likes to pick disproportionately on policies that affect those with a bit darker hues, don’t you think?

Photo: Raedle/AFP