The Trump administration recently announced that it is ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans while also signaling that it is considering ending TPS for Haitian, Honduran, and Salvadoran nationals.  TPS, meant to be a form of short-term relief for those present in the U.S. when a natural disaster or massive civil unrest strikes home, has become anything but temporary. 

At present, TPS has been granted to some 400,000 individuals from at least ten countries, and needless to say, most of these recipients have no plans for returning home. Many TPS recipients currently in the U.S. filed for protection decades ago, yet remain here still today.  Their governments have lobbied for them to stay, and open border advocates charge that returning them to their homeland would not only wreck our economy (they account for about 1/100th of 1 percent of GDP!) but is an unfair hardship to them.

But wait, there's yet another shoe to drop.  When a TPS recipient finally receives some form of permanent status - as many have done - our chain migration-based immigration policies kick in and allow them to sponsor relatives for entry. That, on average, leads every legalized TPSer to sponsor between three and four family members, who in turn sponsor additional family members.  And on, and on, and on.

These family members are granted entry not based on skills, individual merit, language ability or anything else that might predispose them to be successful in the U.S.  They're granted entry based simply on bloodlines. America, long seen as a country that puts a high premium on individual merit, sadly needs a merit-based immigration system.

Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.



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