As temporary protected status settlement talks stall, more than 250,000 risk deportation
By Matthew Dolan
6 September 2018
As thousands of people wait to receive notices of deportation under the Trump administration’s program for extending temporary asylum protection into the US, more than 250,000 immigrants have been sent notices of intent to be deported starting Monday under the Immigration and Control Act (IACA).
The Trump administration is using these notices to strip immigrants of the protections afforded by the program for individuals who demonstrate they are at risk of being persecuted or tortured by the state. Over the past several years, tens of thousands of Central American immigrant children have been separated from their families on Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy of prosecuting all migrants and sending them to be prosecuted all over again via the family separation policy. A similar tactic of separating children from their families has been used on asylum seekers and refugees in Europe in the past two years under the pretext of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Trump administration announced in June the expanded IACA to include an additional 180,000 immigrants. But as of September 2, 245,000 immigrants have now been sent notices of intent to be deported via the IACA, with another 85,000 to be sent over the next week to give them time to file for asylum claims. This is in addition to the 120,000 immigrants who have already been sent notices of intent to be sent back to their home countries.
Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy
The implementation of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy on asylum seekers and refugees began in April 2018, and quickly became a political “tweeting and crying” for most on the left and right. Under the Trump administration, asylum-seekers attempting to enter the US at official ports of entry are now being prosecuted for entering without authorization. The policy is being justified as a necessary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from Central America, despite the fact that the most vulnerable populations to the virus—people of color, women, and LGBT people—are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, while wealthy, white people in North America are more likely to be infected.
In early June,