IMMIGRATION IS PERSONAL
Claudia became an immigrant on paper in 2001, but she first identified as immigrant during college. No where is the barrier to higher education clearer than at the intersection of a student’s legal status and college tuition. Immigrant is a self Claudia explores through poetry: “It is not a coincidence that education and salvation are rhyming nouns.”
Claudia immigrates into the U.S. following El Salvador’s 7.6 magnitude earthquake. At age 6, she is a Temporary Protection Status (TPS) holder, temporarily in the U.S.
Claudia is still a TPS holder. At age 17, she enters Bard College at Simon’s Rock for the academic challenge.
Turns out, Claudia’s small, early college has never dealt with a student who has TPS, and perhaps, not many first-generation students. Claudia, lacking support from the college, can’t afford to continue there.
She takes the GED over the summer, then enrolls full-time in community college.
Claudia appeals out-of-state classification and transfers to George Mason University as a part-time student. She offers her storytelling and poetry to Mason DREAMERS, an advocacy group for immigrants.
Claudia completes her Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in creative writing and graduates a proud George Mason University alumna.
In the past year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced six countries are set to lose their TPS designation. El Salvador is one of those countries.
How long until the terminations take effect?
1. Sudan’s TPS ends April 2019*
2. Nicaragua’s TPS ends April 2019*
3. Nepal’s TPS ends JUN. 2019. That’s in 5 months.
4. Haiti’s TPS ends JUL. 2019. That’s in 6 months.
5. El Salvador’s TPS ends SEP. 2019. That’s in 8 months.
6. Honduras’ TPS ends JAN. 2020. That’s in 12 months.
A recent lawsuit has allowed an extension for Sudan and Nicaragua, which were set to lose their protections in November 2018 and January 2019, respectively.
Without TPS, community members lose the right to work, access to higher education, health care, and will fall into an undocumented status. For El Salvadoran nationals, this news comes after 17 years with TPS and without a pathway to permanent residency.
Want to take action? Call your member of Congress today through the FWD.us tool or find your representative’s info online.