Talking and Teaching about TPS
Updated May 5, 2018
On January 8, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced a decision to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador, a decision that will directly impact over 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States with TPS and their 190,000 children who are U.S. citizens. According to the announcement, the decision will go into effect on September 9, 2019 “to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates.”
Since the fall of 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has decided to end or revise TPS for Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and now El Salvador.
The decisions have raised several important legal, moral, and ethics questions about immigration and the U.S. role in providing protection for vulnerable migrants. While some argue that the TPS designation was always understood as temporary, hundreds of thousands of migrants who were offered protection built lives in the U.S., many of whom started families and raised children who are U.S. citizens.
Discussing current events and controversial issues is recognized as a proven practice in civic education by the Civic Mission of Schools. Below are a collection of resources for talking and teaching about TPS.
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services Page on Temporary Protected Status, https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status
- Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen’s Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador, https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/01/08/secretary-homeland-security-kirstjen-m-nielsen-announcement-temporary-protected
- 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave the U.S. as Trump ends immigration protection, Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-to-end-provisional-residency-for-200000-salvadorans/2018/01/08/badfde90-f481-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html?utm_term=.989c9e679372
- BREAKING: Trump Shocks World by Insisting “Temporary” Means Temporary, National Review, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/455254/temporary-salvadoran-amnesty-finally-end
- What Some Immigration and Latino Organizations Said About DHS Decision to End TPS for El Salvador, Latino USA, http://latinousa.org/2018/01/08/immigration-latino-organizations-said-dhs-decision-end-tps-el-salvador/
- El gobierno de Trump cancela el TPS de El Salvador y deja al borde de la deportación a casi 200,000 inmigrantes, Univision, https://www.univision.com/noticias/inmigracion/el-gobierno-trump-cancela-el-tps-de-el-salvador-y-deja-al-borde-de-la-deportacion-a-casi-200-000-inmigrantes
- Ending Temporary Protection For Foreign Workers Could Hurt U.S. Rebuilding Efforts, NPR, https://www.npr.org/2017/12/06/568569232/ending-temporary-protection-for-foreign-workers-could-hurt-u-s-rebuilding-effort
- Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Honduras, US Department of Homeland Security, https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/05/04/secretary-homeland-security-kirstjen-m-nielsen-announcement-temporary-protected
- Trump administration ending temporary status for Hondurans, the latest immigrant group to have protections revoked, LA Times, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-tps-honduras-20180504-story.htmlhttp://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-tps-honduras-20180504-story.html
- El gobierno de Trump cancela el TPS de los hondureños y les da 18 meses para irse del país, Univision, https://www.univision.com/noticias/tps/el-gobierno-de-trump-cancela-el-tps-de-honduras-y-deja-sin-proteccion-a-mas-de-56-000-inmigrantes
Before discussing TPS:
- Recognize that there could be strong opinions and strong emotion in the classroom and plan your lesson accordingly.
- Consider how you will contract for a civil discussion.
- Consider what you know about your student’s histories and experiences that will impact how they respond to the material. What might you do to take your student’s histories and experiences into account?
- Recognize your own biases about the decision to end TPS, about your students, and, even, about your own colleagues. What might you do to make sure they do not interfere with your educational goals.
Questions to consider:
- What are the legal, moral, and ethical issues at stake in the decisions to end TPS? Which of these issues do you find the most important?
- Based on the articles that you read, who will be impacted by the decision to end TPS for selected groups in the U.S.?
- How might the decision to end TPS for parents impact the lives of the 190,000 children who are U.S. citizens? What impact might the decision to end TPS have on schools and the education of U.S. born children?
- Do you view the end of TPS for Salvadorans, and others, as just? If so, why? If not, why not? Use evidence from to support your argument.
- If you do not believe the decision is just, what can you do to see that justice is done? If you do believe it is just, how might you address some of the concerns expressed by opponents of the decision? If you don’t believe the decision is just, how might you address the concerns of some of those that disagree with you?