In a clear case of the impact of the 14th amendment being used to award U.S. citizenship to any child born on U.S. soil, a Catholic bishop in El Paso, Texas published an opinion editorial in The Hill on Monday, making a plea for the estimated 192,000 children born to migrants from El Salvador who are living in the U.S. under the Temporary Protected Status program.
“Approximately 200,000 TPS holders from El Salvador live in the United States, primarily in California and Texas,” Bishop Mark Seitz wrote, noting that they are now the parents of an estimated 192,000 “U.S. citizen children” who he claims are going to suffer if they are forced to return to their home countries.
The current Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador is scheduled to expire March 9, 2018, and Homeland Security must decide by Jan. 8 on whether they will extend temporary protected status for El Salvadorans, or let the status expire.
Seitz, who is the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso, Texas, wrote in his op-ed that these people contribute to the American economy, and should not be sent back to their homeland.
“Is this what we are prepared to allow 192,000 U.S.-citizen children to face? The possibility of being hunted by gangs and identified for extortion, gang recruitment and worse in a country that they don’t call home?” Seitz asked.
The economic contributions of TPS holders, particularly their entrepreneurial skill, high employment levels and the taxes they pay to our government, are notable. If TPS for El Salvador is not extended, those financial impacts will be directly felt by our communities; certain industries, such as home health care and construction, will be directly and negatively affected. While the financial contributions of TPS holders are noteworthy, to me what is even more compelling is the fact that these Salvadoran TPS holders are parents to an estimated 192,000 U.S.-citizen children.
There are many “mixed-status” families that are composed of a TPS-recipient parent and U.S.-citizen child or multiple children, living here in the United States. As I meet more mixed-status families here in Texas who have TPS-recipient parents, a question that burns in my heart is what will happen to these children if their parents are ordered back to El Salvador? What will become of their futures?
Will these families face separation and breakdown, so that their U.S.-citizen child can access the benefits of an American education? Or will families stay together and leave to their parents’ home countries, facing a decided lack of opportunity and, worse, extreme violence and possible exploitation? The end of TPS for El Salvador would force such a heartbreaking decision upon thousands of families.
Friday, DML News CEO Dennis Michael Lynch recorded a brief video explaining the original intent for the 14th amendment, and explained that it is now being used to provide citizenship in a way that was never intended when it was created.
Watch the video below: