The Easiest Targets Are Ones With Nowhere to Go
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced the addition of Nepal to the list of countries now stripped of their Temporary Protected Status (TPS), forcing refugees from those nations living in the U.S. to leave the country.
UPDATE: 05/04/2018 12:28 PM PST: The administration has officially revoked TPS for Honduran citizens, condemning 57,000 refugees living in the U.S.
The full list of countries that have already lost TPS or are scheduled for review also include Syria, Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Somalia.
Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were all denied TPS last year, and Haiti and El Salvador will join them in 2019.
Interestingly, nearly every country on the list is one that the U.S. has had quite a bit of involvement with, whether military or diplomatic.
For example, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras are all countries in which the U.S. has staged or supported coups and regime-changes, leaving the countries in political and socioeconomic distress and disarray.
Their citizens receive TPS because of natural disasters that decimated their countries.
One could argue that had the U.S. not destabilized each country through its political intervention, they may have been better equipped to respond to those disasters and may not have needed TPS for their citizens.
Haiti and Nepal both suffered devastating earthquakes that ruined already outdated infrastructure and crippled their economies, and while the U.S. has not had the same involvement in Haiti and Nepal as in the other countries losing TPS, we haven’t been and aren’t being completely fair with them, either.
According to HuffPost, as of 2017 there were still tens of thousands of displaced Haitians living in makeshift camps and many more still in need of aid.
And while the U.S. and the Red Cross handled the response to Nepal’s earthquake five years later in a much better way, it has only been three years since then.
Those situations may be somewhat of a stretch when it comes to U.S. culpability, but Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are anything but.
The U.S. has been backing a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supplying arms for their bombing campaigns of Syria and Yemen in which thousands of civilians have died and many more face starvation and disease.
The people of Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are fleeing their countries because of the U.S.; if anything, we owe it to them to allow them to enter our country since we’ve functionally decimated theirs.
The revocation of TPS for these nationals is rooted in prejudice and fear, as well as in a deeply erroneous desire to shirk the responsibility our nation has towards the people whose homes we have destroyed.