The New York Times Misrepresents the Purpose of TPS

The April 7 issue of the New York Times (airs a long, slanted discussion of the current effort to provide legal status to person granted protection against deportation under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) provision of law.

The poster child for the article is a Salvadoran woman who came into the United States illegally when she was 12 years old. She now has a U.S.-born teen-aged daughter and a tween son. She has been legally able to work here for 20 years because of the many-times renewed TPS designation for El Salvador. But her status is now in doubt because the Trump administration ruled that the conditions in El Salvador – three major earthquakes – that resulted in the TPS designation no longer justified withholding deportation of those who no longer had any legal basis for remaining here.

The left’s immigration advocacy groups are now pushing for sweeping amnesty legislation that would include giving permanent legal status to former TPS beneficiaries.

What the Times piece does not make clear is that when TPS no longer applies, because conditions have changed in the home country and the designation is terminated, the beneficiaries revert to their pre-TPS status i.e., most often illegal alien status. So the argument that they were working legally and paying taxes while temporarily protected against deportation or that they have married or have U.S.-born children is an appeal to emotion. It implies that because they were allowed to stay and put down ties that there is an obligation to accept them as if they were legal immigrants.

It ignores that if legal status is given to them by an amnesty any future conferral of TPS will be seen as a back door means to benefit from violating the nation’s immigration law.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).