Let's keep our families together


To the editor:

Literally nobody should be surprised by the Trump administration’s latest assault on immigrant and refugee communities. 

Ending temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of hard-working families is, as many have already accurately said, cruel and senseless.

There are few new things once can say in this day and age, but indulge me as we consider how such anti-immigrant assaults on our community and work force only continue to embolden racist politicians to come to the fore.

Joe Arpaio — a cartoonish villain whom many liberals wish would disappear into the dank cavernous hole from which he emerged — just recently announced he would be running for senate in Arizona. Many of us will remember the Fox News favorite and Trump crony for the despicable tent city jail he ran a sheriff in Maricopa County. 

I won’t waste anyone’s time listing all of the ways this man is terrible.

His candidacy announcement, the same week we learn that Trump has ended TPS for El Salvador, confirms to me that there is no such thing as coincidence.

While it’s undeniable that New York City is one of the most liberal bastions of hope for progressive policy in this country right now, we should not take lightly any kinds of affronts to the stability of hard-working families anywhere they may be happening — no matter how many miles between us. 

We simply must take no chances.

U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano previously acknowledged TPS as a “matter of regional stability and national security” given the crises that caused so many Central American families to flee their homes for better lives here in the states. 

He’s right. Anyone who wants to say that we’re not tearing families apart or placing folks in harm’s way is beyond delusional. In many cases, it’s our fault that so many families have been displaced.

Look, the assaults on immigrants and refugees won’t stop. 

Trump’s campaign was launched and thrived off its xenophobic and white nationalist pseudo agenda. 

But imagine for one moment what your life would be like if you didn’t know whether or not your family would be able to hug each other after a stressful day, laugh over small and big things together, pick up your kids from school, or even know with absolute certainty that you’d be together at the end of this year — what would that feel like?

Too many people know all too well this anxiety, and it’s long past Congress’ time to do their jobs and pass bipartisanship legislation that creates a well-earned path to citizenship for all TPS recipients. 

It’s our responsibility as citizens to remain vigilant, and make sure our elected officials are committed to keeping families together.

Arpaio isn’t the only anti-immigrant zealot lurking in the shadows, and he surely won’t be the last. 

Trump’s stood by sexual predators and men who claim millions of people illegally voted — basically anyone who is committed to his doctrine of divide and isolate has his support.

I cringe to think about what new members of the Trump reality show will make their ways onto our Facebook feeds and television screens throughout the 2018 election season.

But again, that’s why this matters. It’s up to us to make sure no one like Joe Arpaio feels empowered to run and represent this country, and that we keep our families together.

Jess Torres

Jess Torres