Immigration

49,000 Texas Children Could See Their Parents Lose Temporary Protected Status

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants will suddenly lose their right to live in the U.S. if the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status is upheld.

Joel Gómez (right), with the Center of Central American Resources (known as CRECEN by its acronym in Spanish), assists Martir Velasquez (left) with his paperwork to re-register as a recipient of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

A total of 49,000 Texas children have a parent with Temporary Protected Status from El Salvador, Honduras or Haiti, according to a study by the Center for American Progress.

The parents of those children could lose their immigration status if federal courts side with the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the vast majority of those protected. 

Currently, a federal injunction is keeping TPS in effect for people from El Salvador and Haiti, but not Honduras. Those three countries make up 94% of immigrants with these protections.

If parents can’t stay in the United States legally, some will leave their families and return to their home countries, according to the report’s author Nicole Svajlenka.

“We know that separating children from their families has a lot of repercussions ranging from emotional distress to economic turmoil and all of these are really lasting for young children’s development,” said Svajlenka.

She said other parents may opt to stay in the country illegally and could be deported at any time, which would also cause emotional stress for children. 

Svajlenka also said Texas children have the most to lose if TPS is ended.

“Texas is actually the state with the largest number of US citizen children that would be impacted,” she said.

TPS has allowed hundreds of thousands of people escaping natural disasters or conflict to work and live legally in the United States for decades. TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti have lived in the United States an average of 22 years.  

More than half of the 49,000 TPS holders living in Texas from those three countries live in the Houston area. 

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