Donald Trump’s antagonism toward Latin America might be gratifying to the more racist and isolationist elements of his political base, but it isn’t serving his presidency well.
His administration’s policy in the region is both uncharitable and poorly co-ordinated, particularly in Mexico and Central America – and the various crackdowns it’s instigating are already having unintended consequences.
The administration’s latest victims are beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) coverage. TPS grants legal permission to live and work in the US, and is awarded to eligible nationals from designated countries afflicted by natural disaster and conflict.
The US government first selected Central American beneficiaries of this programme in 1999, just after Hurricane Mitch left nearly 20,000 Central Americans dead and more than 1.5m homeless.