While immigrants themselves are the obvious target of Trump’s policy strategy, a secondary category of people also lose out; those who depend on immigrants to better their lives, namely, the elderly and others who depend on caregivers. As numerous Americans that support Trump continue to clamour about the lack of jobs available to them because immigrants are “taking their jobs”, note that most of these jobs are ones that Americans have deemed ‘beneath them’ and are therefore picked up by immigrants. These include jobs such as caregivers for the elderly, disabled, and seriously ill. Many immigrants have taken on these jobs because they provide a living wage and an opportunity to integrate themselves in their new community.
However, those immigrants who work these jobs are in jeopardy because of Trump’s strict policies on immigration, particularly in regards to those with temporary protected status (TPS). Temporary protected status gives legal protection and work permits to foreigners whose countries have been destabilised by war or natural disasters. The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute estimates that there are more than 30,000 TPS workers who are non-US citizens from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, whose status in America is now in limbo as the new administration has called for an end of their legal status in the US. While there are legal firms fighting for the rights of those who will be forced to return to their home countries once their TPS protection ends, they have yet to reach a settlement that allows them to remain in the US. In addition to those protected by TPS, there are more than 11,000 non-US workers primarily from Iran and Somalia, and more than 65,000 from Mexico who will be affected by Trump’s travel ban.
There are already nursing homes that have been affected by the new policies, as immigrants have left their jobs for fear of deportation. If more people leave or are deported, the caregiving industry will be in limbo as they scramble to find people willing and able to satisfy the requirements of the job, and at the moment there aren’t enough people to replace those who will be lost.
Our Verdict: Trump’s travel bans and immigration policies not only hurt those who they target, but they also hurt those with whim immigrants interact. By no fault of their own, immigrants are losing their jobs and being forced back to countries that are still war torn or destabilised due to natural disasters.