Nebraska Protests in Support of the Status of Illegal Immigrants
OMAHA, NE — September 4, 2018
The issue of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. from all over the world, their acceptance and legal status is still at the forefront, as different groups of people either support them or want to “build the wall”. Major protests against the suppression of illegal immigrants happened yesterday in Omaha, Nebraska, where people gathered to show their support to those who have lived in the States for years, but now are obliged to leave the country as soon as possible.
One of them, Omahan Ismael Rivera has lived the American dream. At 44 years old, he’s raised two kids. He’s held the same job for 11 years. He owns a home and pays taxes. But as an immigrant from El Salvador, his future is uncertain.
Rivera, who is in the U.S. legally through what is known as temporary protected status, will lose that protection next year, absent action by Congress. He is among an estimated 1,500 immigrants in Nebraska and 300,000 nationally due to lose their protected status.
Temporary protective status is a designation that the Department of Homeland Security uses for citizens of nations considered too unstable for a safe return, typically because of extreme violence or natural disasters such as earthquakes. Salvadorans such as Rivera were granted protected status in 2001 because of a massive earthquake that destabilized their country.
Kathleen Grant, co-chair of the Omaha Together One Community Immigration and Refugee Action Team, said it makes sense for Congress to act on behalf of these immigrants.
“They are now embedded in our communities,” she said. “They’re virtually all employed, they’ve bought homes, they have cars. They have citizen children and grandchildren.”
Yet, Trump’s Administration doesn’t seem to share this sentiment of ordinary Nebraskans.
Trump's "Put America First" program seeks to protect American workers and industries. It also reverses decades of U.S. immigration policy that called for countries to "send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free." Back in January Trump released an immigration plan. It would offer a 12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children. It would replace President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.