Due to cartel violence in Mexico, should Mexicans living in the U.S. illegally get Temporary Protected Status?
It's a potentially explosive idea being circulated on petitions in Houston's Latino supermarkets, lobbied for in Chicago's Hispanic neighborhoods and now is landing on the front pages of the Spanish-language press.
With more than 30,000 dead in the last four years from drug violence in Mexico, some immigrant advocates are starting to lobby the U.S. government to grant millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico "Temporary Protected Status," a kind of temporary reprieve from deportation generally reserved for countries ravaged by natural disasters or destabilized by war.
"There is a big chance of getting kidnapped and killed over there right now. It is extremely, extremely violent," said Victor Ibarra, the president of the Houston advocacy organization Alianza Mexicana. "That is why we're asking for temporary protection."
Ibarra said volunteers had collected more than 1,000 signatures in support of TPS since starting a petition drive in Houston on Nov. 4. He said that 15 immigrants rights organizations in Texas, including several in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, were planning to participate in the petition drive. Nationally, he said, he's been talking with organizations in California, Arizona and Chicago about making a more unified push.
Petition aims to protect illegal Mexican immigrants