Case in point: the massive "Temporary Protected Status" (TPS) program run by the Department of Homeland Security.
In theory, as the DHS website describes it, the Secretary of Homeland Security "may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately." Those conditions include hurricanes, environmental catastrophes, civil war, epidemics and other "extraordinary and temporary conditions."
The U.S. allows illegal aliens from TPS-designated countries to live here, work here, be protected from detention or deportation, and travel freely. It's essentially a bad-weather pass into the U.S. Whenever a natural disaster strikes, we allow legions of foreigners who entered illegally -- mostly from Latin America -- to stay here while their homelands recover.
In the meantime, TPS winners can apply for a panoply of other immigration benefits and protections and file for "adjustment of status" to pave the way to permanent legalization. In fact, the official draft application for Obamacare lists "Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)" as an "eligible immigration status."
Yep, that means you don't even have to be a legit, approved TPS designee to qualify for Obamacare. If you merely filed paperwork to be an "applicant" for TPS, you're in like Flynn! DHS documents are now officially pimping Obamacare to foreigners. And GOP Senate Budget Committee staffers estimate that covering illegal aliens could raise the cost of Obamacare by $120 billion to $200 billion in its first decade.
In theory, TPS beneficiaries are supposed to go home after their native countries improve. In practice, there is nothing temporary about these "temporary" reprieves for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from around the world.
Last week, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that TPS had been extended for at least 70,000 Hondurans and Nicaraguans "for an additional 18 months, beginning July 6, 2013, and ending Jan. 5, 2015." Thanks to American generosity, these TPS winners have been here since 1998 -- when Hurricane Mitch hit their homeland.
That was 15 years ago.
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