Seventeen years after granting "temporary protected status" to nearly 200,000 Salvadoran citizens who had fled earthquakes in 2001 or who were already here illegally and claimed they were unable to return to their homeland because of civil strife, America is setting a deadline:
Get right with the law or go home.
As if we haven't shown enough generosity to these provisional guests in our home, the Department of Homeland Security gave the Salvadorans until September 2019 to get their affairs in order. But the usual suspects in the permanent Gang of Amnesty — identity-politics Democrats, Big Business Republicans, anti-rule of law activists and sovereignty-sabotaging pundits — condemned the Trump administration's announcement this week with a heaping dose of hyperbole.
Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, called the move a "racial cleansing."
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin called the revocation "monstrous" and called on Democrats to hold government funding hostage until the nearly two-decade-old "temporary" protections were restored indefinitely.
NBC analyst Anand Giridharadas likened the decision to "the German occupation of, and use of forced labor from, Belgium in World War I; and the Armenian genocide."
That's insanity. Here's a proposal. How about I force my way into Mr. Giridharadas' residence uninvited and demand to stay for at least 17 years under the guise of seeking "temporary" shelter. Would he consider a rational and responsible decision to evict me and reclaim his home for himself and his family tantamount to a war crime?
Enforcing a limit on humanitarian gestures is the responsible thing for any self-sustaining nation to do. Previous Democrat and Republican presidents, however, have shirked their duty — opting instead to renew illegal alien protections ad nauseam. So beneficiaries of our supposedly time-limited generosity established families and footholds here. They gained permanent residency, work permits and other taxpayer-subsidized benefits, along with ever-expanding lobbying power as a political constituency.
The Temporary Protected Status program was supposed to provide short-term relief and shelter to people from foreign countries hit by natural disasters, environmental catastrophes, civil war, epidemic diseases or other "extraordinary and temporary conditions." But they were always expected to go back home when those conditions improved.
The federal statute that created TPS clearly mandates terminating the protections once the conditions that led to TPS designation no longer exist. The law "prohibits judicial review of any determination with respect to the designation, termination, or extension of TPS" and "prohibits the Senate from considering legislation that would adjust the status of TPS aliens to that of a lawful temporary or permanent resident" once the status is removed, according to former House Judiciary Committee immigration counsel Nolan Rappaport.
Back in 1999, however, the Federation for American Immigration Reform warned Congress:
"Each special program that provides short-term relief has been followed by persistent demands for similar treatment by other groups and nationalities, not necessarily made up of persons in the same circumstances. It has now been politicized beyond recognition, and certainly no longer deserves the support of the general public."
Indeed, TPS turned into TINO: Temporary in Name Only. Illegal aliens from Honduras and Nicaragua were added to the list, followed by citizens of Haiti, Nepal, Syria, Angola, Sudan, Yemen, Montserrat and more. To date, we've granted sacrosanct TPS status to more than 400,000 people from a total of 22 countries who have grown increasingly entitled to automatic renewal of their protections every 18 months over the past two decades.
There's no polite way to tell houseguests who've overstayed their welcome that it's time to go, but perpetual amnesty for illegal aliens — whether it's called TPS, DACA or DREAM — will only beget more illegal immigration.