Keeping our word
As a three-part Reporter series on immigration last year noted, these are worrisome times for immigrants.
And the worry has only increased since the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security last month that a program called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador will end in September 2019.
TPS, approved in 2001 by former President George W. Bush, allowed citizens of that country to come to America in the wake of two devastating earthquakes.
A similar announcement was made for Haiti’s TPS immigrants and a decision by the Trump administration on the legal status of Hondurans is expected, meaning citizens of that country who came here under the provisions of TPS also face losing legal protection.
In addition is the ongoing drama surrounding the hundreds of thousands who came as children — called “Dreamers”— and were granted protection by the Obama administration, a status the Trump administration disagrees with.
After several days of a federal shutdown, the House and Senate approved temporary funding to keep the government open and paying its bills. At the heart of the dispute over the shutdown was the status of the Dreamers.
In essence, the Senate Democrats gave in to their GOP counterparts and agreed to a temporary funding measure to keep the government going, all on the promise that the Dreamer issue will be settled.
For the 14,700 Salvadorans living and working on Long Island — and those who work on our Island — under the TPS program, as well as the Dreamers, the bitter immigration debate has caused a toxic level of worry about their futures, which was the consensus in our multi-part report of last year.
Good people must come together to support those who have been welcomed by TPS and DACA, and not go back on our word.
Fighting the good fight
In a long career filled with professional honors, the latest to come to our columnist Karl Grossman is the Long Island Sierra Club naming him “Environmentalist of the Year.”
During half a century in the forefront of environmental and investigative journalism in our region, Karl has exposed powerful officials (such as Robert Moses) by revealing their dim-witted and destructive plans, as well as oil companies who stonewalled and lied to him about drilling off Long Island until he dug out the story and reported it.
Karl also never gave up on reporting plans for a nuclear power plant at Shoreham and deserves a lion’s share of credit for bringing information to light that eventually killed the project.
More importantly, Karl has shown what a free press can do by doggedly uncovering facts for the public good.
His reporting brings vital information on what affects the health of all of us, and on the preservation of our natural birthright, the environment, which many of the wealthy and powerful were — and are — ever eager to sell for a bowl of porridge.
Congratulations, Karl. You are a beacon to our profession.