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One thing I can't wrap my mind around....when you have illegals who now have American citizen children....are they going to kick the illegal out and allow the child to,stay? Is there a plan for getting enough foster parents to care for these orphaned American citizens?

 

The parent would have to make a decision to either find someone to care for the kids here (they have community / often relatives here legally); or take the child back with them, which means the child could return to the US at any time just like any other US citizen.

 

The same is done by many legal immigrants who leave their kids back home while they pursue legal immigration for years in the US.

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Nothing in US law prevented these people from leaving vs. hanging on and hoping for their status to be extended. They knew their status was temporary and could / would end with little notice.

Nothing in US law prevented them from leaving, but conditions in their passport countries certainly deterred them from returning. I would expect that many families would hang on to the bit of hope they had to provide a safe space and good education for their children.

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Compassion and politics do not equate, nor should they.  As a compassionate person, I am very active in helping people in poor countries (as well as in the US) within the laws.  I don't think it's compassionate at all to string people along for years and decades with "temporary" status.  Politically expedient, maybe.

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Nothing in US law prevented them from leaving, but conditions in their passport countries certainly deterred them from returning. I would expect that many families would hang on to the bit of hope they had to provide a safe space and good education for their children.

 

Yes, but let's not imply that the situation these people are in i.e. in the US on uncertain status was completely outside their control.  Some of the commenters seem to believe that.

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Yes, but let's not imply that the situation these people are in i.e. in the US on uncertain status was completely outside their control. Some of the commenters seem to believe that.

Of course. People nearly always have more than one option, usually with varying positives and negatives. Permanent residents can be deported. TPS can end. An asylum request might not be granted. But I certainly won’t fault the people who are living in the US legally for remaining there while they can.

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Of course. People nearly always have more than one option, usually with varying positives and negatives. Permanent residents can be deported. TPS can end. An asylum request might not be granted. But I certainly won’t fault the people who are living in the US legally for remaining there while they can.

 

This isn't about judging the individuals.  They made a choice that was legal at the time, a choice I might have made myself.  But they made it knowing all along that their status was temporary and they needed a Plan B in the likely event their temporary status ended.  (Though it is my understanding that many were in the US illegally, just like any illegal border crossers, the moment before they were granted temporary status.)

Edited by SKL
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People with TPS status can usually work and in some states, mine included, can get drivers' licenses (without which, in some areas, work opportunities are extremely limited and pushes people into circumstances very ripe for exploitation).

I think people with legal status can get driver’s licenses in every state, can’t they? There are plenty of temporary visa statuse like air pairs, students, H1B, etc ... and I thought they could all drive legally everywhere. (Barring children and blind people etc . . .

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Yes, visa holders / residents can get drivers' licenses.

Edited by SKL

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This isn't about judging the individuals.  They made a choice that was legal at the time, a choice I might have made myself.  But they made it knowing all along that their status was temporary and they needed a Plan B in the likely event their temporary status ended.  (Though it is my understanding that many were in the US illegally, just like any illegal border crossers, the moment before they were granted temporary status.)

Sometimes people are here illegally not because they *came* illegally, but because the visa on which they came ran out.  (In fact, I've read that the majority of people here illegally have overstayed their visa rather than crossed the border illegally.  That seems to be the primary argument against the idea that a physical barrier along the entire southern border would be the best way to minimize the number of people who are here illegally.)  In the case of an expired visa, they may or may not have been able to renew the visa, depending on what kind of visa they had originally, why it ran out, and whether they are eligible to renew it or to stay on some other basis.  

 

The law covering people who are not citizens entering the US is very, very complicated.  This wiki article is a good primer; skip down to Non-immigrant Visas to get a full picture of a wide variety of reasons someone may come to the US, often with their spouse and children.  Any new immigration policy or travel ban needs to be written with full consideration of these typical reasons in order to protect our country's interests and how we benefit from having these people able to come here.

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One thing I can't wrap my mind around....when you have illegals who now have American citizen children....are they going to kick the illegal out and allow the child to,stay? 

 

Scarlett, I am sure you don't mean to cause offense, but calling a human being "illegal" is a slur and is inappropriate. These people to whom you refer are immigrants. Even if they have immigrated without authorization, it is extremely offensive and dehumanizing to refer to them as "illegals."

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Yes, visa holders / residents can get drivers' licenses.

 

A quick look at Pennsylvania's documentation requirements for non-citizens applying for drivers' licenses was fascinating.  Some diplomats and their families are not eligible for state driver's licenses (they must get federal diplomatic ones), but it looks like most other visa types allow it, with the caveat that proof of residency in the state is required, and "a minimum of one year legal presence is required," which I assume to mean that you need to have a visa covering at least a year's presence in the US.

 

My favorite category of visa on the list is "E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Worker and dependents", which apparently arose from some sort of trade treaty.  (I originally figured it was for sheep shearers, but that didn't seem to be the case when I looked it up.)

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One thing I can't wrap my mind around....when you have illegals who now have American citizen children....are they going to kick the illegal out and allow the child to,stay? Is there a plan for getting enough foster parents to care for these orphaned American citizens?

Please keep in mind that these children would not be orphaned. Should that scenario arise, The children would, indeed, still have parents. The parents may make other living arrangements for them, but that won’t make them orphans. I think someone has already addressed the inappropriate use of “illegals.â€

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This isn't about judging the individuals.  They made a choice that was legal at the time, a choice I might have made myself.  But they made it knowing all along that their status was temporary and they needed a Plan B in the likely event their temporary status ended.  (Though it is my understanding that many were in the US illegally, just like any illegal border crossers, the moment before they were granted temporary status.)

 

They were not "just like any illegal border crossers".  TPS came into play because it was determined that legitimate humanitarian reasons caused these people to either flee (or not be able to return to) their home country.

 

Also, it wasn't just them deciding they were going to hang around the U.S.  The State Department renewed their status because it was not considered safe for them to return.  So, what should their plan B have been?  After 17 years in the U.S. should they have been looking at other countries as options?  Would it be to the U.S.'s advantage for them to NOT try to get permanent jobs, homes, roots because they should be ready to leave at any notice after 17 years?  Does that make sense to you?

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Sometimes people are here illegally not because they *came* illegally, but because the visa on which they came ran out.  (In fact, I've read that the majority of people here illegally have overstayed their visa rather than crossed the border illegally.  

 

Like the example upthread of the person here on vacation visiting family, and then the situation fell apart in her home country.

 

If Puerto Rico was NOT part of the United States, you could see the same thing happening there. If people without clean water or electricity flee to Florida, is it humane to focus on the fact they are not legally processed?  That's what TPS was for, to acknowledge those kind of extraordinary circumstances. The problem is allowing those people to be in limbo status for that length of time, so that they establish jobs, homes, and families, but do not have a legal path to permanency.

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Compassion and politics do not equate, nor should they.  .

 

This is an odd statement.  Political decisions are supposed to reflect the values of our country.  Political decisions are made all the time for humanitarian reasons (which you could call compassion).  Should politics ignore that we have a common obligation as part of the human race? 

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They were not "just like any illegal border crossers".  TPS came into play because it was determined that legitimate humanitarian reasons caused these people to either flee (or not be able to return to) their home country.

 

Also, it wasn't just them deciding they were going to hang around the U.S.  The State Department renewed their status because it was not considered safe for them to return.  So, what should their plan B have been?  After 17 years in the U.S. should they have been looking at other countries as options?  Would it be to the U.S.'s advantage for them to NOT try to get permanent jobs, homes, roots because they should be ready to leave at any notice after 17 years?  Does that make sense to you?

 

It's a tough situation to be in, I'm sure.  The 17 year absence though was a choice.  I have many immigrant friends who have gone back for extended visits in their troubled countries of origin, and I have many friends who had an extended stay in the US and then returned to their troubled countries of origin.  Even those who could have stayed longer did not choose to.  Even some US citizens have chosen to go to their troubled mother country for extended periods.  It's a choice.  Granted, not an easy one.

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This is an odd statement.  Political decisions are supposed to reflect the values of our country.  Political decisions are made all the time for humanitarian reasons (which you could call compassion).  Should politics ignore that we have a common obligation as part of the human race? 

 

I'm not opposed to all humanitarian acts by a state, but I don't look to my government to be my instrument of charity.  For one thing, that kind of mindset allows the government to use distressed people as political pawns.

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Sometimes people are here illegally not because they *came* illegally, but because the visa on which they came ran out.  (In fact, I've read that the majority of people here illegally have overstayed their visa rather than crossed the border illegally.  That seems to be the primary argument against the idea that a physical barrier along the entire southern border would be the best way to minimize the number of people who are here illegally.)  In the case of an expired visa, they may or may not have been able to renew the visa, depending on what kind of visa they had originally, why it ran out, and whether they are eligible to renew it or to stay on some other basis.  

 

True dat.

 

We have an ocean surrounding us, and still have illegal immigrants from the US. :p

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It's a tough situation to be in, I'm sure.  The 17 year absence though was a choice.  I have many immigrant friends who have gone back for extended visits in their troubled countries of origin, and I have many friends who had an extended stay in the US and then returned to their troubled countries of origin.  Even those who could have stayed longer did not choose to.  Even some US citizens have chosen to go to their troubled mother country for extended periods.  It's a choice.  Granted, not an easy one.

 

Your comments seem to put the fault on the people because they got jobs, bought houses, and had children here.  I would propose they did exactly what they should have done, and what they were encouraged to do by the structure of the law.  To blame them now, or say they deserve to be uprooted because they didn't have a good enough plan b, is not a fair assessment.

 

So again I would ask, if you have a population of people from another country here, is it better for them to not put down roots and become part of the community?  To contribute to American society while they are here?  Because that is a benefit to us.  And yet now you are implying that it is perfectly fair to uproot these families because they should have known that was coming. I'm sure they did know it was a possibility. But other than returning to their country while the U.S. still deemed that country unsafe (which how many mothers of children would do?) it doesn't seem like those people were given any workable choices at all.  

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I'm not opposed to all humanitarian acts by a state, but I don't look to my government to be my instrument of charity.  For one thing, that kind of mindset allows the government to use distressed people as political pawns.

 

It's not an instrument of charity as much as it is that a government representing a humane people should not be acting in inhumane ways.

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Sometimes people are here illegally not because they *came* illegally, but because the visa on which they came ran out.  (In fact, I've read that the majority of people here illegally have overstayed their visa rather than crossed the border illegally.  That seems to be the primary argument against the idea that a physical barrier along the entire southern border would be the best way to minimize the number of people who are here illegally.) 

 

Good article about this topic...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/visa-overstays-outnumber-illegal-border-crossings-trend-expected-continue-n730216

 

Overstays have exceeded those entering illegally every year since 2007, and there have been half a million more overstays than illegal entries since 2007.

also...

According to the report, in 2014, 42 percent of all undocumented persons in the U.S. were “overstays.† Of those who arrived or joined the undocumented population in 2014, 66 percent were overstays.

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Compassion and politics do not equate, nor should they.  As a compassionate person, I am very active in helping people in poor countries (as well as in the US) within the laws.  I don't think it's compassionate at all to string people along for years and decades with "temporary" status.  Politically expedient, maybe.

I think it is heartless and beyond cruel to suddenly kick them out of our country where they have been for years and many of the younger ones only know America as their home and have no memory or knowledge of the the countries they fled.

 

I read of one DACA teen who committed a minor offense and hence was deported from the only home he remembers and he desperately tried to come back by being smuggled in a truck and ended up dying as a result. Just imagine one of your teens who only know America being deported to a place where they know nothing about and may not even speak the language. I think it is horrific. 

 

As for the Haitians here on temporary status and I also appalled at their plight since many of these folks have set down roots and have American children and now we want to send them back! Unbelievable. 

 

Folks forget that we are running out of young people here too in this country and that immigration does benefit us. If Congress really wanted to enforce immigration laws they would enforce hiring practices but will not since businesses want access to illegal immigrants too. I say lets have worker visas and what not.

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If I knew I could get kicked out of a country and sent back home at any time, I most certainly would never buy a house, or if I did, I'd get myself up to speed to be savvy enough to be able to sell it while I was permanently out of the country.  I'd make sure my kids could speak the language of the country we'd know we were going back to.  I'd do everything I could to get them as much education now as possible and I'd be talking to them constantly about "when we go back" so they would be emotionally ready to move.  If I was with family, I'd make family of prime importance and try not to let the kids get tied too closely to friends in the US.  I'd do everything I could to keep in touch with family back in the home country (if there are any) so that when we'd move back we'd have help, and I'd be saving every cent I could for the move back. 

 

Of course, if you have no family here to help and no family in your home country and haven't been able to save up, then it's a nightmare having to go back to a place penniless and without a support system. This is the part where the can was kicked. It looks like most of the people here under this umbrella have blue collar jobs that don't pay enough to save enough for a major move.  

 

I think America is being rotten to these people, but at the same time, you'd bet that if I was in their situation I'd have a plan B.  I'd be preparing to head back home because I'd know it was coming.  It's sort of like preparing for retirement.  If I don't go to work once the kids are done homeschooling, then my dh and I will be only a step or two above eating cat food when we're old.  The money will run out if I don't work from age 50-70 (or until I'm too sick to).  So, when the kids are done with school, I'll be getting a job and saving almost all of the income for retirement, because I know that unless I die early, old age is coming for me and I'd better be prepared.

 

If I knew I'd be staying in a country temporarily, even 17 years worth of temporary, I'd be doing my best to prepare for when I had to leave with whatever resources I could muster. The US was always up front that this was temporary.  It's in the very name.  It was crummy for a better plan not to be in place, but at the same time, you've gotta prepare for what you know is coming.  The US ought to have paved a way for these guys to have citizenship once it got to the 4 or 5 year mark with no end in sight.  Letting them stay in the first place was compassionate and the right thing to do.  Up to the 4/5 year mark, it would have been ok to send them back home, but after that, the US should have paved a way for them to become citizens.  Major ball drop not to help these guys out, who were being productive in our society for over a decade and were stuck here.  

 

I know I sound like I'm going back and forth, but I'm just thinking through all the aspects of this.

 

Bottom line: The US ought to offer them a quick way to citizenship if they want it.  At the same time, I think the people stuck here ought to have been planning very, very carefully for when they'd have to move back if the US didn't offer citizenship because it looming on the horizon and everyone knew it.

Edited by Garga
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Compassion and politics do not equate, nor should they.

I’d like to hear you debate that with the Pope!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.catholicnewsagency.com/amp/news/compassion-should-be-heart-of-financial-political-decisions-pope-says-53036

 

Another interesting one, a book

http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=26599

And this:

https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Compassion-Michael-Ure/dp/0415671582

 

Just sayin, SKL, politics and compassion are intricately intertwined. And hey, wasn’t it the Republican party of yore

that tried so hard to be called the “Compassionate Conservative�

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
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Your comments seem to put the fault on the people because they got jobs, bought houses, and had children here.  I would propose they did exactly what they should have done, and what they were encouraged to do by the structure of the law.  To blame them now, or say they deserve to be uprooted because they didn't have a good enough plan b, is not a fair assessment.

 

So again I would ask, if you have a population of people from another country here, is it better for them to not put down roots and become part of the community?  To contribute to American society while they are here?  Because that is a benefit to us.  And yet now you are implying that it is perfectly fair to uproot these families because they should have known that was coming. I'm sure they did know it was a possibility. But other than returning to their country while the U.S. still deemed that country unsafe (which how many mothers of children would do?) it doesn't seem like those people were given any workable choices at all.  

 

Did I say there was something wrong with people legally getting jobs or buying assets in the USA?

 

Lots of people move to another location after having had a job / bought assets in their previous location.  Actually it happens a lot in the USA.  It's not considered a big problem.

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I think it is heartless and beyond cruel to suddenly kick them out of our country where they have been for years and many of the younger ones only know America as their home and have no memory or knowledge of the the countries they fled.

 

I have a number of friends and relatives who had kids in the US and then moved with their kids to their mother country.  And US families who move from one country to another due to their chosen career.  None of them have presented it as if it was a terrible experience or terrible injustice.

 

Edited by SKL

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And it seems to me that the argument "it's horrible to uproot children and move them to a different country" fails if the same people are also arguing that it's understandable to do exactly that in the other direction.

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And it seems to me that the argument "it's horrible to uproot children and move them to a different country" fails if the same people are also arguing that it's understandable to do exactly that in the other direction.

 

The big difference is one direction is running to a safer spot, the other is being pushed into an unsafe spot.

 

I suspect many of us would pick up our kids and run to a safer spot if we saw that as our only (or best) option. Uprooting our kids is just something we have to do for safety.  Folks are legitimately fearing for their lives.

 

How many of us want to be pushed into an unsafe one - and either leave our kids behind or take them with us putting them in potential harm's way?  

 

Moving for choice is a completely different topic.  Neither of these is moving for choice - from one relatively safe area to another.

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I have a number of friends and relatives who had kids in the US and then moved with their kids to their mother country.  And US families who move from one country to another due to their chosen career.  None of them have presented it as if it was a terrible experience or terrible injustice.

 

  

 

Oh yeah, easy peasy - they can just hop back onto La Bestia to be gang-raped before they make it back to their destabilized-by-the-US country to get murdered. No terrible experience or terrible injustice there.

 

And it seems to me that the argument "it's horrible to uproot children and move them to a different country" fails if the same people are also arguing that it's understandable to do exactly that in the other direction.

Are you f*ing kidding me? Many of these people are literally fleeing for their lives. You either need to educate yourself regarding the circumstances of immigration from troubled regions or work on developing some compassion.

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The Pope is entitled to his opinion.

 

Sure he is. I also think it’s one heck of an ironic thing for you to say on this MLK day, too. Of course your opinion may vary.

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I have a number of friends and relatives who had kids in the US and then moved with their kids to their mother country.  And US families who move from one country to another due to their chosen career.  None of them have presented it as if it was a terrible experience or terrible injustice.

 

 

And all of these friends and relatives were moving to a very dangerous country, yes?

 

ETA: And had to move because someone told them it was time, not because they chose to?

Edited by Butter
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And all of these friends and relatives were moving to a very dangerous country, yes?

 

By US ideal standards, yes.  But it was their home country so they had their reasons for deciding to do it.

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...

 

ETA: And had to move because someone told them it was time, not because they chose to?

 

Not sure why that is relevant.  That is simply the way it works.  Whether you are on temporary status, or in the military, or an expat, or a missionary, or unemployed, or just believe it's right for your kids to spend this life stage in their mother country, sometimes it's time to move.

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Not sure why that is relevant.  That is simply the way it works.  Whether you are on temporary status, or in the military, or an expat, or a missionary, or unemployed, or just believe it's right for your kids to spend this life stage in their mother country, sometimes it's time to move.

 

Are you really saying that you don't see any difference in moving because it's a choice, or a good thing, or a voluntary choice you made, versus moving because your home is now unsafe, or moving because you are being kicked out of somewhere?

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Are you really saying that you don't see any difference in moving because it's a choice, or a good thing, or a voluntary choice you made, versus moving because your home is now unsafe, or moving because you are being kicked out of somewhere?

 

By definition, everyone who leaves because their visa is expiring (as well as certain other situations) is leaving because they have no legal choice to stay.  When one travels from country to country, that is how it works.  Why are you talking as if that is not or should not be the norm?

 

And when you sign up for a temporary status, you are actually making a voluntary choice at that time to promise to leave when the status expires.

Edited by SKL

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If I knew I could get kicked out of a country and sent back home at any time, I most certainly would never buy a house, or if I did, I'd get myself up to speed to be savvy enough to be able to sell it while I was permanently out of the country.  I'd make sure my kids could speak the language of the country we'd know we were going back to.  I'd do everything I could to get them as much education now as possible and I'd be talking to them constantly about "when we go back" so they would be emotionally ready to move.  If I was with family, I'd make family of prime importance and try not to let the kids get tied too closely to friends in the US.  I'd do everything I could to keep in touch with family back in the home country (if there are any) so that when we'd move back we'd have help, and I'd be saving every cent I could for the move back. 

 

Of course, if you have no family here to help and no family in your home country and haven't been able to save up, then it's a nightmare having to go back to a place penniless and without a support system. This is the part where the can was kicked. It looks like most of the people here under this umbrella have blue collar jobs that don't pay enough to save enough for a major move.  

 

Garga, I'd like to think this is how I would handle it, but I'm not sure I could maintain this for the length of time we're talking about. After so many years, it would be exhausting to keep reminding yourself and your children that this is not our home, we are not really welcome here.  For 17 years?  For the time it takes for a baby to grow into an adult?  

 

You WANT your kids to get comfortable where they are, to make friendships and form bonds. And even the language thing... my mom had to literally stop speaking German in order to get my brother and sister to speak English.  By the time they caught on to that, they then refused to speak German.  I'm just saying it's not as easy as it sounds.  I also wonder how much logic and planning would be going on in my mind after what I might have gone through to get my family here.  Sometimes these families have been abused, etc.  I could absolutely see them wanting to put all that behind them.  It would be hard stuff to switch your mind over to, we are going back and I need to plan for it.

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By US ideal standards, yes.  But it was their home country so they had their reasons for deciding to do it.

 

IOW, no they were not moving to a dangerous country they had fled from.

 

Not sure why that is relevant.  That is simply the way it works.  Whether you are on temporary status, or in the military, or an expat, or a missionary, or unemployed, or just believe it's right for your kids to spend this life stage in their mother country, sometimes it's time to move.

 

It's very relevant.  Choosing to move is very different from being told you must move right now (military doesn't count as they know going in they will be moving regularly).  It shows that the experience of your numerous friends and relatives is not even sort of the same as TPS being renewed for nearly two decades only to be suddenly ended (without your country of origin being any safer than it was before).

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It's very relevant.  Choosing to move is very different from being told you must move right now (military doesn't count as they know going in they will be moving regularly).  It shows that the experience of your numerous friends and relatives is not even sort of the same as TPS being renewed for nearly two decades only to be suddenly ended (without your country of origin being any safer than it was before).

 

Well I don't think they are being told to move "right now."  I thought it was expiring in September 2019.  That is more time than a lot of people get to prepare.

Edited by SKL

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It's a tough situation to be in, I'm sure.  The 17 year absence though was a choice.  I have many immigrant friends who have gone back for extended visits in their troubled countries of origin, and I have many friends who had an extended stay in the US and then returned to their troubled countries of origin.  Even those who could have stayed longer did not choose to.  Even some US citizens have chosen to go to their troubled mother country for extended periods.  It's a choice.  Granted, not an easy one.

 

For someone here with temporary protective status (TPS), it's way more complicated than just "going back for extended visits".  

 

TPS does not automatically grant the ability to return to the U.S. after traveling abroad. 

 

As noted on this page:

 

If you have TPS and wish to return to the U.S. after traveling abroad, you need approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To apply for this permission, complete and file  Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. If approved, you will receive a travel document known as “Advance Parole.†This document will allow you to travel abroad and to return to the U.S. within the time period for which you are authorized. This permit is often authorized for multiple reentries, but you can remain outside the U.S. for only a total of 90 days.

...

There may be some risks that you will need to consider if you are considering traveling outside the U.S. after a grant of TPS.

If you have TPS but have not yet obtained Advance Parole from USCIS, you should not travel outside the United States. Leaving the country without the proper travel documents can cause you to lose your TPS designation. If this happens, you will likely not be able to immediately return to the United States.

Even if you do have proper travel documents, it is extremely important that you return to the U.S. within the time period that you are permitted to travel listed on your Advance Parole document. If you attempt to return to the U.S. after the allotted time expires, you may be denied entry into the country, and it is also possible that your TPS will be considered abandoned due to a failure to maintain continuous residence in the United States.

In addition, you need to make sure that you will not miss important deadlines associated with your TPS grant while you travel abroad. For example, if you must soon renew your TPS status or if your TPS is scheduled to expire in the near future, it is probably best to wait until you update your immigration status before you travel. It is possible to miss important information from USCIS about your status or other applications you have filed during the time that you are outside the United States. For example, many TPS designees also have pending applications for asylum or permanent residence. Missing deadlines for any immigration application you may have pending with USCIS can be highly detrimental to your case.

(NOTE:  TPS is not the only visa situation where there are restrictions on the holder returning to the US after travelling abroad.)

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By definition, everyone who leaves because their visa is expiring (as well as certain other situations) is leaving because they have no legal choice to stay.  When one travels from country to country, that is how it works.  Why are you talking as if that is not or should not be the norm?

 

And when you sign up for a temporary status, you are actually making a voluntary choice at that time to promise to leave when the status expires.

 

The very fact that this category, temporary protected status, exists recognizes that these people are NOT in the same situation as people applying for visas or "traveling from country to country". 

 

Say my country breaks out in civil war and the combatants are going through cities raping and killing.  I flee with my family into another country.  This was not a "choice" like hmm, should I stay her and be raped and/or killed, or should I flee?  But if I flee, I'll be in this other country, maybe I should investigate the legalities there to see if that is a good choice or not...     I did not "decide to move" or "decide to travel to another country".  I fled.  

 

That is the entire reason there the state department recognized these people were in a different circumstance than people applying for visas.  So, I am now here with only the things I fled with, no job, nada. The state department says "sign up for this temporary status so that you can work, get a driver's license, etc., but when your country gets safe you have to go back."  Do I have a choice here?  If I don't sign up, I can be deported.  I can't go back home to the place I just fled from.  I have no money to speak of.  What choice do I have?  How is this a voluntary choice?  What other choice is there except to not sign up at all and be totally illegal?

 

So time goes on.  Not just months but years.  If, as you suggest, I continue to view this as temporary and might be sent home at any moment, you bet I would not be buying a house.  You bet I would not be trying to improve my job situation, maybe go to school.  Why would I even encourage my kids to go to school or acquire any credentials under the American system?  So, would that be good for us (America) or for anyone?  After all, don't we want people here that want to better themselves and "contribute to our society"? 

 

You said, "Did I say there was something wrong with people legally getting jobs or buying assets in the USA?"  but in the same breath you are saying they should not view this as their home even after 17-20 years.  But isn't that the primary complaint against foreigners in our country?  "They don't integrate into our society!"  And if they didn't try to improve themselves and go to school and integrate, then they would just be "a burden" and that would be the complaint.  So... we want them to act like Americans, and work like Americans, but be prepared to drop it at any moment? 

 

Seriously, comparing this to people "travelling" is really insulting.  

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We have a fair number of refugees at our school.  Many would like to go back to their home country - when it's safe.  Even some kids who have been raised here would like to return to their ancestral home - when it's safe.  They don't have to - they are here legally and can stay forever.  Some just want to, but not until it's safe.

 

But for the countries currently discussed with TPS, it's NOT currently safe and we're forcing their return for some reason or another.  It's reminding me most of the MS St Louis (Jewish people from Germany) being returned in a way.

 

If anyone wanted to return, by all means, return.  No one is stopping them.  To force someone to return under the conditions that still exist is not something I want any part of, esp when these folks have PROVEN they'd be great citizens here.  Then I go further and admit that since they've proven they are great residents here, feel free to stay and become citizens even if it IS safe in your own country.  We need more terrific folks staying here.  There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to tell them they need to pack up and move at this point.  With a criminal record, sure.  Without one and with jobs, etc - why?

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If I knew I could get kicked out of a country and sent back home at any time, I most certainly would never buy a house, or if I did, I'd get myself up to speed to be savvy enough to be able to sell it while I was permanently out of the country. I'd make sure my kids could speak the language of the country we'd know we were going back to. I'd do everything I could to get them as much education now as possible and I'd be talking to them constantly about "when we go back" so they would be emotionally ready to move. If I was with family, I'd make family of prime importance and try not to let the kids get tied too closely to friends in the US. I'd do everything I could to keep in touch with family back in the home country (if there are any) so that when we'd move back we'd have help, and I'd be saving every cent I could for the move back.

 

Of course, if you have no family here to help and no family in your home country and haven't been able to save up, then it's a nightmare having to go back to a place penniless and without a support system. This is the part where the can was kicked. It looks like most of the people here under this umbrella have blue collar jobs that don't pay enough to save enough for a major move.

 

I think America is being rotten to these people, but at the same time, you'd bet that if I was in their situation I'd have a plan B. I'd be preparing to head back home because I'd know it was coming. It's sort of like preparing for retirement. If I don't go to work once the kids are done homeschooling, then my dh and I will be only a step or two above eating cat food when we're old. The money will run out if I don't work from age 50-70 (or until I'm too sick to). So, when the kids are done with school, I'll be getting a job and saving almost all of the income for retirement, because I know that unless I die early, old age is coming for me and I'd better be prepared.

 

If I knew I'd be staying in a country temporarily, even 17 years worth of temporary, I'd be doing my best to prepare for when I had to leave with whatever resources I could muster. The US was always up front that this was temporary. It's in the very name. It was crummy for a better plan not to be in place, but at the same time, you've gotta prepare for what you know is coming. The US ought to have paved a way for these guys to have citizenship once it got to the 4 or 5 year mark with no end in sight. Letting them stay in the first place was compassionate and the right thing to do. Up to the 4/5 year mark, it would have been ok to send them back home, but after that, the US should have paved a way for them to become citizens. Major ball drop not to help these guys out, who were being productive in our society for over a decade and were stuck here.

 

I know I sound like I'm going back and forth, but I'm just thinking through all the aspects of this.

 

Bottom line: The US ought to offer them a quick way to citizenship if they want it. At the same time, I think the people stuck here ought to have been planning very, very carefully for when they'd have to move back if the US didn't offer citizenship because it looming on the horizon and everyone knew it.

I think you really hit on many of the mixed emotions and positions many have on immigration. Most people I know, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, wish the US would just decide on what the rules are and then actually enforce the rules going forward, while likely giving amnesty to those here prior to the new rules. Now of course getting people to agree on a set of reasonable, compassionate but realistic rules would be no easy task.

 

Several years ago in my very progressive, blue state the Legislature passed bi-partisan legislation allowing anyone living in the state, regardless of immigration status, to get a driver’s license. But when it was referred to voters and placed on the ballot, it was overwhelmingly overturned. It wasn’t even close.

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The very fact that this category, temporary protected status, exists recognizes that these people are NOT in the same situation as people applying for visas or "traveling from country to country". 

 

Say my country breaks out in civil war and the combatants are going through cities raping and killing.  I flee with my family into another country.  This was not a "choice" like hmm, should I stay her and be raped and/or killed, or should I flee?  But if I flee, I'll be in this other country, maybe I should investigate the legalities there to see if that is a good choice or not...     I did not "decide to move" or "decide to travel to another country".  I fled.  

 

That is the entire reason there the state department recognized these people were in a different circumstance than people applying for visas.  So, I am now here with only the things I fled with, no job, nada. The state department says "sign up for this temporary status so that you can work, get a driver's license, etc., but when your country gets safe you have to go back."  Do I have a choice here?  If I don't sign up, I can be deported.  I can't go back home to the place I just fled from.  I have no money to speak of.  What choice do I have?  How is this a voluntary choice?  What other choice is there except to not sign up at all and be totally illegal?

 

So time goes on.  Not just months but years.  If, as you suggest, I continue to view this as temporary and might be sent home at any moment, you bet I would not be buying a house.  You bet I would not be trying to improve my job situation, maybe go to school.  Why would I even encourage my kids to go to school or acquire any credentials under the American system?  So, would that be good for us (America) or for anyone?  After all, don't we want people here that want to better themselves and "contribute to our society"? 

 

You said, "Did I say there was something wrong with people legally getting jobs or buying assets in the USA?"  but in the same breath you are saying they should not view this as their home even after 17-20 years.  But isn't that the primary complaint against foreigners in our country?  "They don't integrate into our society!"  And if they didn't try to improve themselves and go to school and integrate, then they would just be "a burden" and that would be the complaint.  So... we want them to act like Americans, and work like Americans, but be prepared to drop it at any moment? 

 

Seriously, comparing this to people "travelling" is really insulting.  

 

The TPS applies to people who were already in the USA when the war broke out.  Also, that situation did not continue for 17 years.  That said, I am not blaming anyone for the fact that our government decided to keep extending the deadline.  Fine and dandy, but that does not mean it gets extended forever.

 

Many people buy homes and get jobs in situations where they are not sure how long they will be in a given place.  And many choose not to buy ever, regardless of citizenship status.  Whatever.  A house is an asset that can be held or sold whenever.

 

You don't seem to understand my points.  I am not demonizing anyone.  I'm just saying this was a temporary status and they always knew it.  There are lots of people in the US and other countries who are on temporary status.  It is what it is.

 

The idea that these people deserve to go to the front of the line for citizenship sounds great unless you are one of the many people who have been in that line seeking legal immigration by following the regular immigration laws.

 

I don't know why those people couldn't have gotten in the line 17 years ago.  Maybe someone could shed some light on that.  Were they unqualified for some reason?  Also, have all of the TPS people been here 17 years?

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The idea that these people deserve to go to the front of the line for citizenship sounds great unless you are one of the many people who have been in that line seeking legal immigration by following the regular immigration laws.

 

I don't know why those people couldn't have gotten in the line 17 years ago. Maybe someone could shed some light on that. Were they unqualified for some reason? Also, have all of the TPS people been here 17 years?

They could not get in line 17 years ago because that option was not available to them. It has never been available to them. There is no path to a visa or path to citizenship for people here on TPS. They either stay here on TPS or they go back to their country of origin.

 

People here on TPS have been following the law as it pertains to TPS. If changes in the law would give them thr opportunity to shift to a route that actually led to permanent residence, then yes, they have been waiting for that opportunity for seventeen years. Why shouldn’t they be able to go ahead of someone who hasn’t been waiting as long and is not even in our country yet?

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They could not get in line 17 years ago because that option was not available to them. It has never been available to them. There is no path to a visa or path to citizenship for people here on TPS. They either stay here on TPS or they go back to their country of origin.

 

People here on TPS have been following the law as it pertains to TPS. If changes in the law would give them thr opportunity to shift to a route that actually led to permanent residence, then yes, they have been waiting for that opportunity for seventeen years. Why shouldn’t they be able to go ahead of someone who hasn’t been waiting as long and is not even in our country yet?

 

I did a little google and it seems these folks were not here legally in the first place (perhaps with some exceptions).  Some were here long before whatever led to the TPS ruling.  Therefore they are basically comparable to others who came illegally (or overstayed their visas) but weren't from a country that had a war or natural disaster that prompted a TPS ruling.  Why should they be treated differently than others who are in the USA illegally, given that the reason for the TPS ruling has passed?  I mean all of the immigrants who aren't supposed to be here would say the same thing - it's better here, it kinda sucks there, we've been here a long time, we have kids, we need to send money to our folks ... why does one subgroup get special treatment forever?  And some of them are now saying they are going to try for legal residence through their spouses or whatever.  Great -  if that is a viable process, maybe they would have started it sooner if they'd needed to.  And as to that whole group, I still feel people who are negotiating the process legally should have priority.  Otherwise what's the point of laws ....

Edited by SKL
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Scarlett, I am sure you don't mean to cause offense, but calling a human being "illegal" is a slur and is inappropriate. These people to whom you refer are immigrants. Even if they have immigrated without authorization, it is extremely offensive and dehumanizing to refer to them as "illegals."

That seems nuts to me. Like calling someone a 'homeschooler' is dehumanizing? Do we need to say 'homeschool student' to avoid offense?

 

We use all sorts of shortcuts to describe people and it is not a slur. It is an actual fact. I feel nothing negative about a person based solely on legal status so it absolutely is not a slur to me.

 

I will refrain from using it since it offends someone, but again one more example of super sensitivity.

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Please keep in mind that these children would not be orphaned. Should that scenario arise, The children would, indeed, still have parents. The parents may make other living arrangements for them, but that won’t make them orphans. I think someone has already addressed the inappropriate use of “illegals.â€

Orphans can be children whose parents have abandoned them.

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I did a little google and it seems these folks were not here legally in the first place (perhaps with some exceptions). Some were here long before whatever led to the TPS ruling. Therefore they are basically comparable to others who came illegally (or overstayed their visas) but weren't from a country that had a war or natural disaster that prompted a TPS ruling. Why should they be treated differently than others who are in the USA illegally, given that the reason for the TPS ruling has passed? I mean all of the immigrants who aren't supposed to be here would say the same thing - it's better here, it kinda sucks there, we've been here a long time, we have kids, we need to send money to our folks ... why does one subgroup get special treatment forever? And some of them are now saying they are going to try for legal residence through their spouses or whatever. Great - if that is a viable process, maybe they would have started it sooner if they'd needed to. And as to that whole group, I still feel people who are negotiating the process legally should have priority. Otherwise what's the point of laws ....

Most would have arrived between 1995 and 2001 (because in 1997 Congress allowed then-current TPS recipients to adjust their status if they have arrived by 1995). Many entered legally, some didn’t. Some overstayed their visas, some were still documented when they received TPS. Whatever their situation, after they were granted TPS they had legal status, and still do, for another 18 months.

 

Central Americans in particular need something like TPS because they can’t enter the US as refugees or asylees in most cases, unlike most people fleeing violence. In fact, TPS was created 1990 after the church sanctuary movement of the 1980s and the resulting court cases. That movement was mostly about Central Americans. Central Americans aren’t the only ones who have benefited from it, but it has been really the only option for them (except for the brief and very limited Central American Minor Program).

 

As for getting started on the process to get legal status through a spouse, well, it’s expensive and complicated. It’s difficult to find affordable legal help and it takes a very long time. Of course it would have been better to start the process before. But again, I’m not going to fault anyone who didn’t choose to do that.

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That seems nuts to me. Like calling someone a 'homeschooler' is dehumanizing? Do we need to say 'homeschool student' to avoid offense?

 

We use all sorts of shortcuts to describe people and it is not a slur. It is an actual fact. I feel nothing negative about a person based solely on legal status so it absolutely is not a slur to me.

 

I will refrain from using it since it offends someone, but again one more example of super sensitivity.

Scarlett, calling someone a homeschooler is fine because that’s what they do. No one is “illegal,†no matter what illegal acts they might or might not commit. And even if that term were accurate, it wouldn’t only apply to undocumented people. Pretty much all of us would be “illegal†in some ways.

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