The president has been in office for about a year at this point, and during that time, he and the members of his inner circle have been moving to mold the American policy landscape more to his liking. He made his intentions and allegiances clear coming into office, indicating through an array of means that he believes that America should slam its doors shut because immigrants — and other minority communities — pose some kind of insurmountable threat to the U.S.
To that end, as he echoed in his first State of the Union address delivered to Congress on Tuesday, he’s long wanted to see a wall go up in between the U.S. and Mexico to stem a supposedly insurmountable flow of criminals and drugs over the border.
The Associated Press is now reporting on another means that the Trump administration intends to use to shape America to be more like the president’s vision for it.
According to the outlet, the administration is planning on ending the extension of the Temporary Protected Status to Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war. Before the program completely ends, they’re reportedly planning on extending the protections for eighteen months, meaning that Syrians protected by the program currently in the country can stay for the time being — but after the end of March, no more Syrians can apply to be granted protections under the program.
The only significant change in conditions inside Syria since TPS protections for Syrians were enacted is that ISIS has been driven back out of most of the territory it possessed at one point. However, the intense and long-lasting civil war inside the country still continues. For the Trump administration to end TPS protections for Syrians fleeing their war torn country means that they are willingly turning a blind eye to a humanitarian crisis that they could potentially do something about, but this isn’t the first time that the president and his team members have acted in such a manner.
The Trump administration has already ended TPS protections for people from Honduras and El Salvador, the AP notes, also reporting that “immigration hardliners in the White House” have sought to completely end the TPS program altogether.
In addition to this, although the president has recently proposed a plan to allow the immigrants to eventually gain citizenship, the Trump administration moved last year to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, without a replacement for it in sight. DACA has, during the course of its existence, allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought here as children to be protected from deportation to a country they have little if any tangible connection to.
The current plan proposed by the president, outlined during his Tuesday State of the Union address, allows for these people to have a (lengthy) path to citizenship, but it comes at a steep price — the border wall.
There remains little evidence that the wall will be some kind of silver bullet, fixing the problems associated with porous borders that Trump so often points to.
As much as anything, the wall will, no doubt — if it’s ever constructed– prove to be a monument to racism, with those supporting it under the impression that the people on the other side of it are some kind of subhuman threat to society.
That — just like the impression given off by ending TPS status for Syrians when the war in their country is still very much going on — is not something that we should be going for.
Featured Image via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images