The Trump Administration has begun dismantling the temporary protected status (TPS) for over 300,000 immigrants. Hondurans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Salvadorians living in America under TPS status have been given about a year to leave the country or face deportation.
Many of these individuals had been in America for years and been a part of the American working force. But, the move fits with an administration that has said it will be tough on immigration, departing from recent Presidents.
The senior care and assisted living industry has long been under pressure due to a worker shortage, and the loss of these immigrants will certainly not aid the industry. While it is unclear how many of these booted immigrants work in senior care, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute one in four workers in the industry are immigrants.
As the Trump administration continues its tough stance toward immigration, it will be necessary to keep an eagle eye on the effect that it will have in the care industry. As more and more people come to an age where they require care, the workforce will need to be bolstered.
However, there was some potential dissent coming from Trump’s own cabinet as Chief of Staff John Kelly and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said longtime TPS holders should receive a pathway to citizenship. This leaves TPS holders and perhaps members of the senior care workforce in a state of limbo.
Where exactly this increase in workers will come from is unknown, but it should be prioritized it political discussion along with other issues including increased funding. The future of the industry may also have to get inventive to maintain a high level of care for seniors.
Political reform to increase care industry employment will likely be difficult, but small initiatives have begun to expose more potential employees to the field and to offer more career advancement opportunities.
Regardless of one’s opinion on American immigration and Trump’s new policy toward TPS recipients, recent developments highlight a potential danger to the future of senior care and assisted living.