“Make America Cruel Again.” That’s how journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Shipler has reformulated Donald Trump’s trademark slogan. Shipler’s version is particularly apt when you think about the president’s record over the last two years on refugee resettlement and other humanitarian-related immigration issues.
President Trump’s border-wall obsession and the political uproar over it have dominated the news, while the alleged dangers of undocumented immigrants — whose numbers he wildly exaggerates— have dominated his rhetoric. But the way he’s altered immigration policy affects many more people than just the migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border who are at the center of the wall debate. Many of those currently or potentially harmed by his actions are not outside the law, but are in the United States legally, some with permanent residence status and others on a temporary or provisional basis. Many more, including tens of thousands of refugees who would be eligible for resettlement, are seeking entry or lawful residence through normal immigration procedures.
Among those lawfully here who have been affected by Trump’s policies are nearly three-quarters of a million “Dreamers.” Brought here by their parents, they have qualified to remain under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Those young people have spent well over a year not knowing if they will lose that protection under the current administration, despite strong public support and bipartisan political approval of the program’s premise that it would be inhumane and unfair to penalize young people because of their parents’ actions.
Another 250,000 people face possible deportation if the administration wins its legal battle to terminate their temporary protected status (TPS), which allows those who have been displaced by natural or manmade disasters in their countries to…