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Student Fears Loss Of TPS

Clarissa Moreno, Photographer

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Heber Cruz has been in the U.S. since he was only a year old. For the last 18 years, he and his mother have had Temporary Protective Status. TPS grants those who cannot return due to the conditions in their country which also includes countries such as Syria, Nepal, Honduras, Yemen and Somalia. TPS has covered around 250,000 Salvadorians but there is still no route to be granted citizenship through TPS. Many people have the wrong idea that once you obtain TPS, that’s it. They do not realize you have to renew your TPS by paying around $500 every 18 months. Despite the cost, Cruz believes it is well worth the benefits.

“It has done a lot,” Cruz said. “I’ve been able to live here in the United States [Legally], as well as work anywhere I want. Unfortunately, it didn’t allow me to apply for FAFSA, even though I would have qualified for a lot of money.”

Counselor Kimberly Gammon says students have to apply through TAFSA which is a paper copy that goes directly through individual colleges instead of a national website. With Texas feeling more like home than anywhere else, Cruz didn’t have a hard time adjusting. He has lived his whole life here and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon as to him, this is home.

“I grew up here. I came when I was one, so I wouldn’t know anything else besides here,” Cruz said. “I’m as Texan as anyone else.”

TPS to Cruz means knowing he is able to live and work here but it does have it’s limits.

“It’s great, but after being here my whole life and growing up on it, the government needs to find a way to transition from temporary to permanent,” Cruz said.

Those who oppose the immigration situation and view it as a negative thing, have many misconceptions on illegal immigrants. People believe they simply take up space and fail to view that they accept jobs most people wouldn’t even think about working.

“[They believe] that we’re a burden,” Cruz said. “People think we live off of the government and what not. I feel like we provide more than anything. I mean we work the jobs no one wants to work, and, trust me, if you give Citizenship/Residency to an illegal immigrant they won’t care about paying taxes.”

As of recently Trump ended TPS and the  Department of Homeland Security gave immigrants until September 9, 2019 to leave the United States or find a way to obtain a green card.

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