Sometimes the simple solution--just expelling Salvadoreans who have enjoyed TPS status--seems obvious. Trump can show his anti-immigrant supporters that he is doing something to make American great like it was before it had immigrants...or whatever. Unfortunately, there are always unintended consequences. Maybe the trade offs are OK with most people, but consider this...
Ironically, if T.P.S. recipients are deported, a primary beneficiary will be one of President Trump’s most-stated enemies: the MS-13 gang, which he has accused of turning United States communities “into bloodstained killing fields.” The criminal organization, which is active in both the United States and El Salvador, traces its roots to instability after a wave of deportations from the United States in the 1990s, which El Salvador was ill equipped to receive. It didn’t take long for the resulting instability to bounce back to the United States in the form of increased criminal activity and illegal immigration.
A similar pattern could repeat itself, as conditions are only marginally better today. The Salvadoran government is already strained in its battle against corruption, crime and violence — including one of the world’s highest homicide rates. MS-13 is almost certain to take advantage of the impending disruption as deportees arrive in El Salvador. Worse, young American citizens of Salvadoran origin will be left behind if their parents are expelled, making them more vulnerable to recruitment by criminal groups.
MS-13 was a strange player in the Virginia gubernatorial election and here it is again. This time it is surfacing in the president's decision to expel 200,000 Salvadoreans and leaving 192,000 children potentially vulnerable to the trauma to which gang membership is a potential consequence.
I have no way of knowing if this is a scare tactic as it was during the election, or if it is a real concern. Perhaps a well-thought out policy analysis would provide some answers, but no one believes that the Trump administration has done this kind of work because there is no published study to go with the policy decisions. This administration is flying by the seat of its pants...or by the air of its tweets. That should cause everyone concern whether you support the policy decision or not.