The Economic, Social, and Emotional Toll of Removing Temporary Protected Status for Immigrants

The Trump administration continues to take steps to remove protections from certain immigrants groups. Today, it announced that it will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for certain nationals of El Salvador, affecting ~200,000 immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than 15 years. They will be returning to a country that has one of the highest murder rates in the world as well as a rampant gang problem. Many of the immigrants facing deportation have U.S. born children who now face the possibility of seeing their families torn apart.

Many of these same immigrants play a huge role in farm labor. Farmers are concerned how this, and the loss of other immigration protections, will negatively affect their ability to find laborers to work their crops.

Looking at your own neighborhood and university, which of your neighbors, students, colleagues, friends, and communities are affected by these removal of protections?

Below are books that relate to how immigrants have affected their communities, how immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy, and how immigration and deportation affect children and their families. And consider using the #ImmigrationSyllabus: UC Press Edition to prepare lecture discussions for your courses discussing immigration, labor and work, race relations, families, politics, and much more.

Immigration and Deportation
Labor and Work
Children and Families



Perspectives on the Border

Arizona’s new immigration law, which allows police to stop people they suspect to be in the US illegally and requires immigrants to carry documentation with them, has stirred up controversy and widespread protest. It’s an issue with a long history, as Kelly Lytle Hernández shows in her book Migra!: in which she chronicles the history of the US Border Patrol. Other UC Press authors have given their views on the US-Mexico border in recent weeks.

Tyche Hendricks. Photo: Katy Raddatz

“The best way to understand the border, I believe, is to listen to the people who live there,” writes Tyche Hendricks in The Wind Doesn’t Need a Passport. Rather than a dividing line, Hendricks describes the US-Mexico borderlands as a region with a bi-national culture. “Up close…the border is much more than a hurdle for undocumented immigrants and a stage for Minutemen. It is mountain, desert, ranchland, river, sprawling cities, and remote villages”, she writes in the book.

In an interview on the Berkeleyside blog, Hendricks said that while people living close to the border on either side are on the front lines of problems like drug smuggling and illegal immigration, many are working together to address these issues. In the region, she found “a remarkable spirit of neighborliness in twin border towns, a shared history and many, many families with cross-border ties”.

Tomás Jiménez

Tomás Jiménez, who writes in Replenished Ethnicity about Mexican Americans, ethnic identity, and assimilation, argued in the LA Times for immigration reform that would include citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the US. In a Drucker Apps conversation about immigration, Jiménez said: “Perhaps the most important aspect of immigration reform…has to do with legalizing people who have been here for some time, people who have proven that they are productive members of US society, and have greater potential to be productive members of American society if we could only unshackle them from the ball and chain that is their legal status.”

Peter Schrag. Photo: Patricia Ternahan

In the Wall Street Journal, Peter Schrag, author of Not Fit for Our Society, recalled the nature of Americans’ feelings toward newcomers over the centuries. The history of both legal and illegal immigration in America has been characterized by ambivalence, he said, with anti-immigrant sentiment flaring and waning with economic trends and other factors. “Arizona’s new law…is only the latest chapter in centuries of intermittent efforts to slow immigration, or stop it altogether”, he wrote.

Living in Limbo: Crisis and Mexican Immigration

On NPR’s Tell Me More last week, Tomás Jiménez, author of Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity, spoke to Lynn Neary about whether recent drug-related violence in Mexico is changing immigration patterns, possibly widening the gap between Mexican immigrants in the US and their family members across the border.

Jiménez finds that the economic crisis, not violence, is probably the driving force behind a recent decline in immigration from Mexico, and addresses anecdotal evidence suggesting that legal immigrants from Mexico and their children may be assimilating more into life in the US, while unauthorized immigrants and their children face an increased sense of “living in limbo”. Listen to Tomás Jiménez on NPR’s Tell Me More