A Big Week For Northwest Immigrants With TPS, DACA, More

An immigration rally in summer 2017 in Yakima, Washington.
Yakima Valley residents rally at a pro-DACA demonstration in August. CREDIT: ESMY JIMENEZ

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Bittersweet news is rippling through the immigrant community this week after a new judicial ruling impacted DACA. That plus changing timelines for those with Temporary Protected Status has many nervous.

On Monday the Trump administration said it would end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans. That impacts an estimated 1,900 people in Washington who have until September 9, 2019 to either leave the country or find another path toward legal residency. Oregon and Idaho have populations under 1000 of TPS holders, but immigrants in those states face the same concerns.

The news comes after TPS was stripped from Haitian and Nicaraguan immigrants. People from those countries have until January and July 2019, respectively.

Also this week, a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration by blocking termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals saying the program can continue until further court rulings.

Yakima County is home to the second most DACA recipients in the state. For those 6,000 Dreamers, their lives have been in limbo since President Trump took office. The ruling this week means recipients can renew work permits. But new applicants won’t be accepted.

This is a victory of the community,” Monserrat said. “But nonetheless our community needs a permanent solution and Congress needs to act before March passing a permanent solution for immigrant youth and their families.

Monserrat Padilla is the network coordinator for the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, and a DACA recipient.

Reporting by The Seattle Times also reveals the Washington Department of Licensing has shared information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding undocumented immigrants. Governor Jay Inslee has asked the Department to stop.

The latest anti-immigrant wave came Thursday, with news of Trump talking of immigrants from Haiti and Africa by describing their countries of origin with a vulgar phrase.

Immigrants, advocates and members of Congress on social media responded to the remarks, calling them crass and discriminatory.

Copyright 2018 Northwest Public Broadcasting

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