WASSAPENING .... In Immigration Law

Obama contemplating TPS for Honduras: Not comprehensive immigration reform but perhaps a start.

By Alberto Marrero Salas
Published on LatinoLA: August 4, 2010

WASSAPENING .... In Immigration Law

A couple of interesting developments took place in the last few weeks in the immigration front.

The Guatemalan government asked for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) on the 18th of June. TPS allows Guatemalans who are in the US to remain here legally. Those who are presently detained or who have deportation orders also qualify.

Those who are under criminal deportations are allowed one misdemeanor.

The countries that have been granted TPS are El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Sudan and Somalia.

If approved by the Obama administration (Congress has no say in granting or denying TPS status) TPS will stop thousands of deportations to Guatemala, which has been ravaged by nature.

Unlike the Salvadorans and Hondurans, who closed their asylum cases due to the war in Central America ending, the Guatemalans did not have a TPS program to jump to. The Guatemalans were flying in a plane with no parachutes.

President Obama -- who unlike what Sarah Palin said has tremendous cojones, as he asked Eric Holder to sue Arizona over SB 1070 (which could be political suicide) -- is the only one who could decide the TPS request.

He has 45 to 90 days to respond. Due to the nature of the small number of Guatemalans here in the U.S. subject to deportation, the grant of TPS status would fly under the radar.

When Bush the father gave TPS to Salvadorans, Cubans and Nicaraguans, no one cared. The crazies on talk radio had no clue. The same thing happened when Clinton gave TPS status to Hondurans due to the disaster caused by hurricane Mitch.

When Bush W gave TPS status to Salvadorans due to the earthquake of 2001, it was also a non-event. No Rush Limbaugh. No Fox News. No Sean Hannity or John and Ken, the morons on KFI.

On another front, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on the 12th of July remanded (sent back) a case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The case is Perdomo v. Holder.

In its remand, the Court stated that the BIA had used a very narrow definition of what constitutes "a particular group." You can only get a grant of asylum if you fall under the definition of a particular group.

The Court ruled that due to the high level of violence in Guatemala against women, Guatemalan women, along with homosexuals, gypsies and women from Muslim African tribes that practice female circumcision, could be considered "a particular group".

There have been hundreds of murders of Guatemalan women in the last two years (600).... convictions: 3. Men kill their women with impunity.

This decision could eventually open up asylum for women from Central America and yes, maybe even Mexico.

So even though deportations have risen by 25% under Obama and raids at work places have increased by 50% after his opposition to 1070, maybe there is hope.

Admittedly these are crumbs, but as General Westmoreland said in Viet-Nam, "There is a light at the end of the tunnel".

About Alberto Marrero Salas:
Worked on Wall St. both a Merrill and Pru-Bache when the real Joe Gecko was Ivan Boesky.
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