Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Redefining ‘Temporary’

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Redefining ‘Temporary’

The Gazette Packet’s editorial, “Pulling Legal Status” [Jan. 11], insists there is “no upside” to terminating “Temporary Protected Status” for immigrants, but even the editorial hints at upsides:

  • Salvadorans send $3.6 billion in remittances to their home country. In national accounting, these remittances are treated like imports — money leaves the U.S., exacerbating our trade, or what economists term “balance of payments” deficit.

  • Your editorial counts the losses to GDP of ending TPS, but many of those jobs will go to Americans, perhaps at a higher wage due to a tightened job market.

  • Returning TPS recipients to their homelands before they become eligible to receive Social Security benefits increases the Social Security trust fund’s solvency.

  • Much of affordable housing’s disappearance is driven by demand. Repatriating people will suddenly create lots of vacant housing units, and thereby drive down rents — no government subsidies or zoning density bonuses for affordable housing needed.

Your editorial is essentially a non-sequitor, demanding permanent “Temporary Protected Status.” Something permanent per se cannot be temporary or vice versa. The average person sees a sort of corruption in our government abusing language and legal concepts in this fashion and would foreseeably oppose granting temporary protected status to others beset by future disasters if this one ended up being a sleight-of-hand. The fact that TPS recipients have mortgages, U.S.-born children, etc. is irrelevant to their reason for being here under temporary protected status. And if “temporary” really means permanent, our government is perpetrating a fraud on its citizens, much like developers calling a proposed new building’s rooftop “open space.”

Your editorial is a lot like some of the development deals City Council goes for where advocates carefully enumerate all the alleged benefits and pretend away all the very real costs by insisting, ipse dixit, there is “no downside” when, in fact, there very much is one.

Dino Drudi