There is Nothing Behind Trump's TPS Decision Except for Cruelty


It’s just malicious. To order the deportation of Salvadorans — who sought refuge in the United States after a devastating earthquake, and who started lives, made friends, got jobs, raised children who are American citizens, built businesses, and contributed greatly to American communities — including my home town of Somerville - will devastate an important part of our immigrant community. We need to call this what it is: racist, fear-mongering demagoguery.

This morning I attended a rally at Boston City Hall hosted by Centro Presente to protest President Trump’s decision. Among the attendees were City Councilors Josh Zakim and Ayanna Pressley along with Mayor Marty Walsh, but the standout speaker was 10 year old Gabriella Martinez. Gabriella is a resident of East Boston and an American citizen, she aspires to be an ESL teacher when she’s older but is now living in fear that her mother will be deported. “I want to be an ESL teacher, but to accomplish that I need my family,” she told the crowd. Gabriella is sadly not the outlier in this situation; revoking the TPS status will not only impact the lives of the holders but also their families--we're talking about families ripped apart and parents potentially having to return to El Salvador without their American born children. It’s not just that TPS holders strengthen our economy (last year Salvadorans paid $100 million in property taxes and even more in payroll taxes) they’ve made homes and started families here. Here in Massachusetts, we can expect to see thousands of lives damaged thanks to a decision that was made out of pure cruelty on the part of the Trump Administration.

It is terrifying and wrong that we can no longer count on the federal government to protect our immigrant communities. That’s where governors across the nation must step up. We need to pass and strengthen the Safe Communities Act and let law-abiding refugees know that we will build a pathway to citizenship so that they can always have a home in Massachusetts.