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Trump Says ‘Go Home’ to Thousands of Central Americans

January 10, 2018
Plain English Version

The back of the Statue of Liberty, New York City.

America is an ‘idea’ that goes back a long way. After one hundred and fifty years, America is still the biggest economy in the world.

It is no wonder that people from around the globe made the journey to this country.

It is also true that immigration has always had a political side to it. There was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that barred Chinese workers. It was not repealed until 1943.

The Immigration Act of 1924 set quotas. It said how many people of different backgrounds could enter the U.S. The purpose of the law was to keep out Italians, Slavs, and Jews. It also affected Africans, Arabs, and Asians.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 changed the laws and ended quotas.

A law passed in 1990 allowed refugees from stricken countries to enter the U.S. El Salvador had a big earthquake in 2001. Because of it, about 200,000 people migrated from El Salvador to the U.S.

The U.S. government allowed them to stay. Now the government is telling them they must leave within the next two years.

The name of this law is Temporary Protected Status. The government says that El Salvador has recovered from the earthquake. It says there is no longer a reason for them to stay in the U.S.

The decision came just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians lost their temporary status protections. The U.S. granted protection to them after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. Hondurans may soon lose their protection status. Nicaraguans lost their protections last year.

What is the reason for now telling the Salvadorians to go home? Trump ran on a platform of enforcing immigration laws. It is no surprise that he is now doing so.

Dreamers are young people who came to America with undocumented parents. Trump says they had to leave the U.S. unless Congress passes a law to give them legal status.

It is not clear that such a law will pass. The president has other ideas. He wants to help the Dreamers. He also wants funds to start work on a wall on the Mexican border.

Congress has to act on the Dreamers soon. Or they will lose their status and be subject to removal.

Americans are of four minds about immigration laws. Some say the law is the law. Obey it. Some say protecting families is most important. Some say immigrant workers are taking jobs from Americans. Some say that without migrants there will be a shortage of workers.

For now, President Trump is doing what Candidate Trump said he would do.

Source: The New York Times January 8, 2018

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